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San Francisco Cinematheque 
1995 Program Notes 



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From the collection of the 



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San Francisco, California 
2007 



EDITOR 

C Whiteside 
Irena Leimbacher 

Cover Art: 



Program Notes Written and Researched By 

Danielson, Rick 
Etonenghini, Geoffe 
Frye, Brian 
Golembiewski, Emily 
Lambert, Jeffrey 
Leimbacher, Irina 
Minh-ha , Trinh T. 
Shepard, Joel 
Terry, Chryss 
Wagner, Todd 
Whiteside, C 

Program Curators/Presenters: 

Ahwesh, Peggy 
Anker, Steve 
Gertiz, Kathy 
Handeiman, Michelle 
Leimbacher, Irina 
Shepard, Joel 
Wallin, Michael 

© Copyright 1996 by the San Francisco Cinematheque. No material may be reproduced 
without written permission from the publisher. All individual essays © to the individual 
authors. 



San Francisco Cinematheque, Sept. 1995 - Aug. 1996: 

Steve Anker, Artistic Director 

Joel Shepard, Associate Director 

Irina LcimbsichcT, Administrative Manager 

Board of Directors 

Stefan Ferreria Culver 

Linda Gibson 

Sharon Jue ^ . 

San Francisco Cinematheque 



Wendy Levy 
Ariel O'Donnell 
Sandra Peters 
Laura Takeshita 
Michael Wallin 



480 Potrero Aveneue 

San Francisco, CA 94110 

Phone: (415) 558-8129 

Fax: (415) 558-0455 



Table of Contents 



AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDEClNEMA-l 1 

MATERIAL& SENSATION 

AUSTRIAN AVANrr-GARDEClNEMA-2 2 

THE FILMS OF PETER KUBELKA 

AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE ClNEMA-3 2 

CULTUREANDlTS DISCONTENTS 

AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA^ 3 

BODY AS MATERIAL 

AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE ClNEMA-5 5 

PLACE/ REPLACEMENT 



NIGHT OF UVING COLOR 


6 


AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE ClNEMA-6 


7 


INTTIMATEINVASIONS 




EXQUISri'bFRAGMENTS 


9 


NEW FILMS BY ROSSLIPMAN 


13 


Parents 


14 


AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE ClNEMA-7 


15 


INTERIOR SPACES 




THE FILMS OF YOKO ONO 


17 


DORIS WISHMAN 


19 


EASTERN EUROPE 


20 


ALVARFZ& POVEY 


23 



NOT BEIRUT: BY SALLOUM& TOUHC 25 

NEW YORK SCUM 26 

Caitun Manning's Personal Witness 27 

STANBRAKHAGE: SONGS PROGRAM 2 29 
Song XII, Fifteen Song Traits-Song XXII 

TEENAGETRASHBASH! 31 

Canyoncinema Nights 33 

stanbrakhage: songs program 3 34 

Song XXIII (23rd Psalm Branch Part 1 & 2) 

CINEMA VERFTE: JEAN ROUGH 36 

open s greening 40 

ErnieGehr: adeuneKent Award 40 

NELSON & WILEY Before Need Redressed 43 

SIMPLE BEAUHES: THE ART & LIFE OF 45 
BRUCE BAILUE (April 17, 20 & 21) 

imaginary light 49 

achtungBaby ! —Media snatchers 52 

LoveandDingleberries 54 

The Mammals OF Victoria 56 

THEFiLMsoF YOKO ONO— Program 2 57 

Canyoncinema NIGHTS 59 



RB3. 8mm Savedfrom Extinchon 61 

THE Story lived by atraud-M6mo 62 

Exploring Raqsms 63 

Marqa Brady andMen^ruation 64 

alexanderkluge's s hort films 65 

ALEXANDERKLUGE: The Blind Director 66 

WONT YOU OOMEOUT AND PLAY... 67 

BEAUTIFULPBOPLE/BEAUTIFULFRIENDS 69 

lynnhershman+ friends in person 

Bay area Women at Work 70 

time bomb! 73 

IN MEMORIAM: WARREN SONBERT 74 
A TRIBUTETOHIS LIFE AND WORK 

FAQNGEDEN-I 76 
SANFRANQSOO'S UNDULATINGSKYLINE 



FAaNGEDEN-2 
SCALES OFGRANECUR 



78 



Facing eden-3 80 

light energies: landscapes ofthemind 



FACING EDEN^ 

LIFE FLOWSINTHEMODERN WORLD 



83 



WISEMAN: High School & Primate 86 

CINEMATHEQUE: BEHINDTHE SCENE 87 

. . .and then god became disoriented ... 90 

ELLENBRUNO 91 

MICHAEL WaLUN'S Black Sheep Boy 92 

TRINH T. MINH-HA 'S a Tale Of Love 94 

QUEER SHORTSBYFEATUREDIRECTORS 96 

FILMS FROM PARIS' LIGHT CONE 97 

TERMINAL USA - UNCENSORED! 99 

LOOK AND LISTEN: A HLM/SOUNDLAB 101 

PaulMcCarthy : Heidi & Painter 103 

CULT RAPTURE !wrTH ADAM PARFREY 104 

Media Fantasies AND REALITIES 104 

A Bruce ConnerCelebration ! 105 

Andy Warhol's Vinyl & My Hustler 107 

SEASONAL Forces io8 

First festivalcelluloidall no 

JAMESBENNING'S Deseret 112 

STEVEFAGIN'S Memorial Day (Observed) 1 13 

MEMORY 1 14 

HOMESCREENING 1 15 



,¥■ 






AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA: 1955-1993 
PROGRAM 1: MATERIAL & SENSATION: AN OVERVIEW 

Tuesday, January 17, 1995 — Pacific Film Archive 

This stunning overview introduces nine filmmakers whose other films appear in later 
programs. Beginning with Peter Kubleka's groundbreaking, beautiful first film, Mosaik im 
Vertrauen (1955), the program continues with local premieres of Valie Export's bold 
sexual manifesto A/aw & Woman & Animal (1973), Ernst Schmidt Jr.'s Bodybuilding 
(1966) (recorded during an Otto Muehl Materialaktion), and films by Martin Arnold, Mara 
Mattuschka, Kurt Kren, Dietmar Brehm, Hans Scheugl, and Peter Tscherkassky. 

Mosaik im Vertrauen (Mosaic in Confidence) (1955), by Peter Kubelka; 
35mm, b/w+color, sound, 16 minutes 

2160: 48 Kopfe aus dem Szondi-Test (2/60 48 Heads from the Szondi Test) ( 1960), 
by Kurt Kren; 16mm, b/w, silent, 5 minutes 

Bodybuilding ( 1965/66), by Ernst Schmidt Jr. ; 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes 

Hernals (1967), by Hans Scheugl; 16mm, color, sound, 11 minutes 

Mann & Frau & Animal (Man & Woman & Animal) (1910-13), by Valie Export; 
16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

Manufraktur (Manufracture) ( 1985), by Peter Tscherkassky; 
35mm, b/w, sound, 4 minutes 

Kugelkopt (Ballhead) ( 1985), by Mara Mattuschka; 16mm, b/w, sound, 6 minutes 

Color de Luxe ( 1 986) , by Dietmar Brehm ; 

16mm (S-8mm blow up), b/w, sound 7 minutes 

passage a Vacte ( 1993) by Martin Arnold; 16mm, b/w, sound, 12 minutes 

•information about the films and filmmakers are excerpted from our catalogue, 
Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema 1955-1993 on sale at the Cinematheque* 



AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA: 1955-1993 
PROGRAM 2: THE FILMS OF PETER KUBELKA 

Tuesday, January 24, 1995 — Pacific Film Archive 

"Peter Kubelka is the perfectionist of the film medium: and, as 1 honor that 
quality above all others at this time (finding such a lack of it now elsewhere), 
I would simply like to say: Peter Kubelka is the world's greatest film-maker 
—which is to say, simply: see his films!" 

—Stan Brakhage 
Pause! (1977); 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 

"Amulf Rainer himself is an artist of unique originality and intensity. His face art, which 
constitutes the source of imagery of Pause!, is a chapter of modern art in itself... both 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Rainer and Art disintegrated and became molecules, frames of movements and expressions, 
material at the disposal of the Muse of Cinema." 

—Jonas Mekas 

Mosaik im Vertrauen (Mosaic in Confidence) (1955); 
35mm, b/w/color, sound, 16 minutes 

"Kubelka's motive for making the film lie in his belief that commercial films do not fully 
exploit cinematic possibilities. He declares that the place of the plot and its ostensibly 
disparate scenes is the screen, and the time shall be any time at which the film is shown." 

—Alfred Schmeller, 1958 

Adebmr {\951)\ 35mm, b/w, sound, 1.5 minutes 
{Adebar will be shown twice) 

"The film's images are extremely high contrast black-and-white shots of dancing figures; 
the images are stripped down to their black-and-white essentials so that they can be used in 
an almost terrifyingly precise construct of image, motion, and repeated sound." 

—Fred Camper 

Schwechater {\95^)\ 35mm, color, sound, 1 minute 
{Schwechater will be shown twice) 

"In 1957, Peter Kubelka was hired to make a short commercial for Schwechater beer. The 
beer company undoubtedly thought they were commissioning a film that would help sell 
their beer; Kubelka had other ideas." — FC 

Amulf Rainer {\960y, 35mm, b/w, sound, 6.5 minuets 

"Amulf Rainer's images are the most 'reduced' of all — this is a film composed entirely of 
frames of solid black and solid white... in reducing cinema to its essentials, Kubelka has 
not stripped it of meaning, but rather made an object which has qualities so general as to 
suggest a variety of possible meanings, each touching on some essential aspect of 
existence." — FC 

Unsere Afrikareise (Our Trip to Africa) (1966); 16mm, color, sound, 12.5 minutes 

"...relatively conventional 'records' of a hunting trip in Africa. The shooting records 
multiple 'systems'— white hunters, natives, animals, natural objects, buildings— in a 
manner that preserves the individuality of each. At the same time, the editing of sound and 
image brings these systems into comparison and collision, producing a complex of multiple 
meanings, statements, ironies. [...]" —Fred Camper 

•information about the films and filmmakers are excerpted from our catalogue, 
Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema 1955-1993 on sale at the Cinematheque* 



AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA: 1955-1993 
PROGRAM 3: CULTURE AND ITS DISCONTENTS 

Tuesday, January 24, 1995 — Pacific Film Archive 

These five films tear at the placid fabric of Viennese domestic life. The beautifully 
photographed Sonne halt! by Ferry Radax, one of the most inventive and iconoclastic of 
the eariy filmmakers, is an unruly, fragmented narrative following the exploits of several 
rebellious young people. Redolent with languorous beat energy, it occupies a place oddly 



Program Notes 1995 

reminiscent of our own The End (Christopher MacLaine). Schmidt, Jr.'s P.R.A.T.E.R. is 
an abrasive and witty documentary portrait of activities around Vienna's historic 
amusement park; Subcutan by Rosenberger is a sizzling montage portrait of Vienna in 
1988, "a glance under the skin of everyday life, searching for the open sores in the soul of 
this would-be metropolis" (J.R.); and Scheirl/Schipecks's The Abbotess and the Flying 
Bone is cin outrageous fantasy set in a psycho-sexual zone, complete with mythic and 
ritualistic mysteries. — Steve Anker 

5162 Fenstergucker, Abfall, etc, (5/62: People Looking Out the Window, Trash, etc.) 
(1962), by Kurt Kren; 16mm, color, silent, 6 minutes 

P.R.A.T.E.R. (1963-66), by Ernst Schmidt, Jr..; 16mm, b/w, sound, 21 minutes 

Subcutan (1988), by Johannes Rosenberger; 16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes 

.. ..I 
The Abbotess and the Flying Bone ( 1989) by Angela Hans Scheirl & Dietmar Schipeck; 
16mm, b/w, sound, 18 minutes 

Sonne halt! (Sun stop!) (1959-1962), by Ferry Radax; 35mm, b/w, sound, 25 minutes 

•information about the films and filmmakers are excerpted from our catalogue, 
Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema 1955-1993 on sale at the Cinematheque* 



AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA: 1955-1993 
PROGRAM 4: BODY AS MATERIAL 

Sunday, January 29, 1995 — Pacific Film Archive 

10/65: Selbstverstummelung (10/65: Selfinutilation) (1965), by Kurt Kren.; 
16mm, b/w, silent, 6 minutes 

"Kurt Kren's films possess an abstract, serial, musical, structural, and mathematical 
quality, showing an objectivisation, an almost documentary quality. In 
Selbstverstummelung, Kren gives us a surrealistic drama of symbolic self-destruction, 
pacing out each gesture so that one gets a tense, iconoclastic revelation of a man covered in 
white plaster lying surrounded by razor blades and a range of instruments looking as if they 
have been taken from an operating theatre. The blades, scissors and scalpels are gradually 
inserted into him in a ritualistic self-operation." 

—Stephen Dwoskin 

Filmreste (Film Scraps) (1966), by Ernst Schmidt, Jr.; 16mm, b/w, sound, 10 minutes 
Ernst Schmidt's relationship with the world is largely enacted via the medium of film; 
cosmos and film cosmos become identical, and moreover, the cosmos acquires a cinematic 
order. 

Montage of left-over film material from film scraps, amateur films, film leaders, recordings 
of material happenings, etc. Edited according to an exact plan (60 blocks of 10 takes each), 
then largely drawn over. My most destructive film, the "model for a futuristic newsreel." 
(ES) 



San Francisco Cinematheque 



....Remote....Remote.... (1973), by Valie Export; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 
"...there is nothing dreadful about a woman trimming her body, especially in the places 
where she enhances the glamour imposed on her body by the civilizing influences of the 
world around her." 

— Renate Lippert 

16167: 20. September (16/67: September 20) ( 1967), by Kurt Kren; 

16mm, b/w, silent, 7 minutes 
"..the camera work is so crass that even hard-baked observers do not react without 
embarrassment." 

— Theodor Schroder 

Der musikalische Affe (The Musical Ape) (1979), by Rudolf Polanszky; 
16mm (S-8 blow up), b/w, sound, 5 minutes 

In each new work I create a new field of action, I multiply the surroundings of my works, 
constantly adding new relations as functions of evolving reflexes and variable standpoints. 
(RP) 

Die Geburt der Venus (The Birth of Venus) (1972), by Moucle Blackout; 
16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 

As I have never worked with a usual script I stay flexible in filming scenes, which I often 
shoot out of a certain situation or emotion with a sensation for a special image in my mind. 
(MB) 

B antes Blut (Colorful Blood) (1985), by Renate Kordon; 
16mm (shot on 35mm), color, sound, 8.5 minutes 

"As an architecture student, Renate Kordon inclined more to two-dimensional renderings of 
her ideas than three-dimensional realizations... Moving, then, from the material permanence 
of the building medium to the substanceless ephemerality of projected light was a way to 
visualize the invisible, to reflect on the inner lives of things." 

— Diane Shooman 

Films by Mara Mattuschka: 

NabelFabel (NavelFable)(l9S4); 16mm, b/w, sound, 4 minutes 

Der Untergang der Titania (The Sinking ofTitania) (1985); 
16mm, b/w, sound, 4 minutes 

Parasympathica (1986); 16mm, b/w, sound, 5 minutes 

KaiserschnUt (Ceasarean Section) (1987); 16mm, b/w, sound, 4 minutes 

Es hat mich sehr gefreut (1 Have Been Very Pleased) ( 1987) ; 
16mm, b/w, sound, 2 minutes 

"Codes are rule systems which have one thing stand for another. But Mara Mattuschka 
wants to get to the things themselves, she wants to reverse the constitutive insufficiency of 
language, in order, via pleasure in art, to find pleasure in the body and thence pleasure in 
being. To this end, she rebels against the dictates of the world and the rules of 
cinematography and gives an exemplary demonstration of her clashes with the prescribed 
order of language." 

— Peter Tscherkassky 

The Murder Mystery (1992), by Dietmar Brehm; 16mm, b/w, sound, 18 minutes 



Program Notes 1995 

"By frequently using pornographic films as his basic material, Dietmar Brehm reveals their 
regressive nature: he turns the desublimized gaze, with simultaneous denial of sexual 
satisfaction, into a tension which makes it possible to experience the human drama of 
denied satisfaction amid the barred or at least impeded gaze.*' 

—Peter Tscherkassky 

•information about the films and filmmakers are excerpted from our catcilogue, 
Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema 1955-1993 on sale at the Cinematheque* 



AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA: 1955-1993 
PROGRAM 5: Place/Replacement 

Tuesday, January 31, 1995— Pacific Film Archive 

"The camera has always been used to document particular locations, but the result usually 
offers only a stylized and limited experience of the nuances and feeling of place. The films 
in this program conceive new formal strategies to express the character and perception of 
private and open spaces. Kren's Asyl takes a bucolic country scene and breaks the frame 
into several pieces, each recorded in different seasons but juxtaposed so that they appear to 
be happening simultaneously. The resulting composite creates a counterpoint that both 
reflects and departs from perceived reality. Sunset Boulevard by Korschil offers a view 
into the isolated world of commuters as observed through countless passing car cubicles; 
Ponger's Semiotic Ghosts knits a tapestry of symbolic images from sources found naturally 
in different locations of the world; General Motors by Hiebler/Ertl and Motion Picture by 
Tcherkassy both explore the intoxicating flavors of old movie images, one in terms of 
aesthetic renewal, the other as cultural critique. Scheugl's The Place of Time is a profound 
meditation on the deceptively controlling closed form of cinematic sound and image." 

— Steve Anker 

AUGeneral Motors, ( 1993), by Sabine Hiebler & Gerhard Ertl; 
35mm, b/w, silent 15 minutes 

Motion Picture (La Sortie des Ouvriers de VUsine Lumiere a Lyon) (1984), 
by Peter Tscherkassy; 16mm, b/w, silent, 3 minutes 

31175: Asyl(31/75: Asylum) (1975), by Kurt Kren; 16mm, color, silent, 9 minutes 

Sunset Boulevard (1991), by Thomas Korschil; 16mm, color, silent, 8 minutes 

Semiotic Ghosts (1990-91), by Lisl Ponger; 16mm, color, sound, 18 minutes 

Der OrtderZeit (The Place of Time) (1985), by Hans Scheugl; 
16mm, color, sound, 40 minutes 

•information about the films and filmmakers are excerpted from our catalogue, 
Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema 1955-1993 on sale at the Cinematheque* 



San Francisco Cinematheque 



NIGHT OF LIVING COLOR 
CURATED AND PRESENTED BY ALFONSO ALVAREZ 

Thursday, February 2, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

This program was developed from a hst of films I put together when I taught a summer arts 
class in cameraless filmmaking. My desire was to show films with a wide variety of 
palettes and stylistic tendencies. Works by Craig Baldwin, Stan Brakhage, Glenda Egan 
and Len Lye were some of the examples I wished to inspire those young minds. From this 
list then, and my own leanings as a colorist, I began to consider works that are 
sophisticated in execution, unusually colored, have an ironic sense of humor, and are 
cameraless or hand made. The films below 2U"e works that have one or all of these elements, 
form found footage to lurid color saturation to texturing the film surface with shopping bag 
ink or newspaper ink. This is the kind of filmmaking we can do in the comfort of our own 
home. 

Cha-Hit Frames (1986), by Dirk De Bruyn; 16mm, color, sound, 21 minutes 

De Bruyn's meticulously edited film is a testament to hue saturation and color 
manipulation. Through the optical illusion of retinal memory, De Bruyn tricks the eye into 
seeing tertiary sets of colors from densely edited sequences of positive and negative 
frames. Rub-on images appear three dimensional; you won't believe your eyes! 

BagUght (1994), by Rock Ross, Michael Rudnick & Friends; 
16mm, color, sound, 2.5 minutes 

This is the first of three films in tonight's program in which the emulsion is made by the 
filmmakers. Elegantly assembled through a sophisticated process that involves ironing 
plastic shopping bags to transfer the inky colors onto clear acetate, BagUght is the 
politically correct alternative to cutting the wings off moths. 

Kaleidoscope {\92>5) and Color Flight (\93H), by Len Lye; color, sound, 8 minutes 

Sixty years after their making, Len Lye's unique hand painted films are still delightful 
reminders of cameraless cinema's potential. 

Tree (1994), by Tim Wilkins; 16mm, color, sound, 4 minutes 

As the educational film from Hell, Tree is suffused with sardonic humor that is at once 
cryptic and lyrical. In less than five minutes. Tree single-handedly undoes years of 
educational film codification and brings new meaning to the term truncated. 

The E/w/ (1985-86), by Donna Cameron; 16mm, sound, color, 5 minutes 

The third film in which the emulsion is made by the filmmaker. End's dancing Benday dots 
were created by burnishing double perf splicing tape onto newspaper, magazine photos and 
color photo-copies, then pulling away the tape to remove the pigment and paper fiber, then 
optical printing the results. 

Walking the Tundra (1994), by Jeremy Coleman; 16mm, color, sound, 4.5 minutes 

"Starting with footsteps. Walking the Tundra is a rich collage film that uses a variety of 
experimental techniques drawing upon the history of American Avant Garde. It captures a 
moment in thought, using modem methods of transportation (as) metaphor and ending with 
footsteps thus completing a circle." 

—Jeremy Coleman 



Program Notes 1995 

Epilogue (1986-87), by Matthias MUller; S-8mm, color, sound, 16 minutes 

Miiller is a master of low tech rephotography. The pulsing images filmed off a textured 
surface walk us through a portrait of lush blood reds and blacks that begs us to stay and 
play. As if never quite awaking from a dream. Epilogue is a microscopic look at the 
burning grain of emulsion that makes the memories of childhood games seem so dark. 

CrossRoad ( 1988) and Midweekend (1985), by Caroline Avery; 
16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes 

CrossRoad is a one-minute polychromatic paint film that sets the stage for Midweekend. 
Painted, bleached and heavily edited, Midweekend is a cascade of colored leader and 
educational, documentary, travel and unsplit Smnifilms chopped into one to three frame 
increments. 

Rip (1989), by Joel Schlemowitz; 16mm, b/w, sound, 2 minutes 

Rip is part of the school of hand-made films that remind us of the materiality of film itself 
and how easily it can be manipulated. It represents a witty look into a liminal realm where 
positive and negative imagery vie for frame space. The torn images bring us back to the 
tangibility of handcrafted filmmaking. 

• program notes by Alfonso Alvarez • 



AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA: 1955-1993 
PROGRAM 6: INTIMATE INVASIONS/SUBVERTING SEXUALITY 

Sunday, February 5, 1995 — SF Art Institute 

Super-8 Films By Angela Hans Scheirl And Ursula Piirrer 

"Playing with monstrosity and taking pleasure in violating taboos are both evident in the 
work of Angela Hans Scheirl and Ursula Piirrer. Since the early 1980s, female desire and 
pleasure m power form their central themes. With humor and irony, they pursue a break 
with tradition and boldly deal with outlawed aspects of feminine identity." 

— Elke SchUttelkopf, Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema 1955-1993, Tour Catalogue 1994 

Super-8 Girl Games (1985); S-8mm, color, sound, 2 minutes 
Intimate and playful, emotion gestures scratch through the celluloid. 

Das Schwartz Herz Tropft (The Black Heart Leaks) (1979); 
S-8mm, color, sound, 13 minutes 

Two women engage in strange, abstracted rituals, punctuated by apparently symbolic 
objects, including a black "bleeding heart." These rituals seem obscure and rather comic, 
but with repetition each variation takes on significance, as with any ritual. With a sly 
tongue-in-cheek, each mask or angle of head might indicate a plot development. The 
combination of playfulness and austerity creates an odd intimacy. The audience is part of 
this ritual or parody. 

Body-Building {19S4); S-8mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

"With rude spontsineiiy... Body-Building... parodiGS and radically upends male dominated 
body ritual performance art." 

— Steve Anker 



San Francisco Cinematheque 



Gezacktes Rinnsal schleicht sich schamlos schenkelndssend an 

(Jagged Trickle Creeping Shamelessly, Wetting Thighs) (1985)', 
S-8mm, color, sound, 4 minutes 

A taboo image, not coyly accessorized but ritualized for the camera with a note of mischief 
(I dare you to be shocked) — an efficient de-mystification. In exploring "monstrous 
femininity" Scheiri and Piirrer are framing the feminine mystique in new terms. Consider 
these rare images of socially unwelcome, volitioneil female sexuality — pleasure not in 
womanly receptivity, but in shameless, clearly proud catharsis. This can be exhilarating, 
strange or kinky. The key to monstrosity as power seems to lie in the film's unapologetic 
tone. The audience cannot escape the act of looking. 

Valie Export's Feature Length Vnsichibare Gegner 
(Invisible Adversaries) 

"Export's Invisible Adversaries is an important 'crossover' film combining avant-garde and 
theatrical sensibilities, made during the mid-1970s. It chronicles the nightmarish 
breakdown of a fashion photographer as she confronts her waning identity and security as 
a career woman; blending narrative experimentation, fantasy, fact and theoretical critique, it 
has enormous impact on independent features which followed it." 

—Steve Anker 

Vnsichibare Gegner (Invisible Adversaries) (1977), by Valie Export ; 
16mm, color, sound, 1 12 minutes 

"Art-making is shown as one way to understand and overcome 'them': this unbearable 
disintegration. Invisible Adversaries affirms the act of representation." 

—Amy Taubin, Soho News (May 7, 1980) 

Invisible Adversaries bears some careful consideration. Each image and interaction has 
been given several readings by critics, partly due to the sheer surrealism and exaggerated 
metaphor which Valie Export uses to create the strange world of her protagonist's reality. 
"Anna, an artist, is obsessed with the invasion of alien doubles bent on total destruction— 
the Hyksos.' More sophisticated than '50s science fiction heroes, Anna questions whether 
the Hyksos exist or whether she is projecting an internal metaphor into a hallucination. She 
sets out with still and video cameras to gather evidence. The images she finds point to bad 
days ahead but a question remains — does the evidence prove the existence of the Hyksos 
or rather the subjectivity of the 'objective' machine?" 

—Art/orum (November 1980) 

"When the two characters videotape themselves talking, their video images and 
voices... gradually overtake them so that the video seems to be generating the 'original' — 
the people are the duplicates. With this scene and much else in the movie. Export suggests 
a rich set of variations on the meaning of the Hyksos invasion." 

—Amy Taubin, Soho News (May 7, 1980) 

This video-taping scene also points to the precarious relationship of the recorded image to 
the actual event, especially relevant if one needs to document an invasion. The irony of 
course is that the invaders are invisible, but the cameras begin to 'pick up' the Hyksos. The 
photographic image shifts between roles as Anna's proof of Hyksos, and the source of her 
mental breakdown, as they become more bizarre and malignant. The film is full of 
surrealistic metaphors for Anna's emotional state and/or for the Hyksos. The flesh, the 
photograph, and the Hyksos become inextricable. "Consciously or not. Export's film is 
pervaded by an ambivalent critique of representation— it might have been made to support 
Susan Sontag's darkest anxieties about the post-modem proliferation of the image" (J. 



8 



Program Notes 1995 

Terrifying because we've all had those dazed periods, overwhelmed at the horrific by the 
mundane in our worid. And funny to see our absurd emotional tangles. When Anna fights 
with her lover Peter in an outdoor caf6, it is painful if silly, and leaves you relieved to be 
only watching. This scene has been called agonizing, but Amy Taubin found it "...a 
brilliant parody of a woman and a man at an outdoor-cafe table discussing their 
relationship: Anna's grotesquely nervous gestures distort her body.. .her lover is all 
masculine stolidity and annoying calm, with a few simple, punchy politician's hand 
movements... all the while the camera isolates each of them in turn... a terrific scene." 

"Invisible Adversaries seems made in part to shock the bourgeoisie and, in fact, it did. 
Completed in 1976, the film was funded by the Austrian Ministry of Art and Education, 
and when newspapers attacked it as 'pornographic,' the ensuing parliamentary debate 
insured its succes de scandale. Nudity and sex-play aside, the film includes a truculent 
denunciation of its hometown, railing against every thing from the Austrian film industry 
and the hard lot of local artists to the pretentious hodgepodge of Viennese architecture and 
the hypocrisy of the City's burghers. 'Vienna's history is oblivion and treason,' Widl 
asserts. 'Paranoia surrounds me in the form of this city.'" 

—J. Hoberman, Village Voice {March 1981) 

"Invisible Adversaries is slightly over-long and the last reel loses focus and power, I don't 
really care. It makes you reconsider what you and everyone else is doing— in life and in 
art." 

—Amy Taubin 

•program Notes by Maya Allison • 



EXQUISITE FRAGMENTS: NEW BY HENRY HILLS 
FILMMAKER HENRY HILLS IN PERSON 

Thursday, February 9, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Henry Hills has made 18 short 16mm films since 1975. His work has received support 
from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the 
Jerome Foundation, and Hip's Road and is in the permanent collections of the New York 
Museum of Modem Art, the New York Public Library, the Archive du Film Experimental 
d'Avignon, and elsewhere. 

Given the speed of contemporary life and an exponentially increasing mass of information 
moving at a constantly accelerating velocity, Hills composes films which present models of 
concentration, condensing masses of imagery to their essential moments and radically 
juxtaposing these to create pathways for thought. Rapid editing as generally employed in 
the mass media presents a mindless profusion of trivialities lulling the viewer into a 
semihypnotic state of receptivity. In contrast. Hills' work demands (and creates the 
conditions for) intensely directed attention. Rhythmically complex and varied, his films 
probe the depths of the topics at hand and expose new ways of seeing; educating the eye 
for a more critical viewing of the immense flow of images which assault us daily and 
suggesting fresh approaches to looking at the world at large. Closely allied to new 
developments in music, dance, and poetry. Hills' work remains fresh over the years. Films 
he made over a decade ago seem new today. Their ready accessibility belies their extreme 
density, which encourages and rewards multiple viewing. 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Bom in Atlanta, Georgia in 1948, Hills received a B.A. in English from Washington and 
Lee University in 1970 and a M.F.A. in filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 

1978. He was a conscientious objector during the Viet Nam war, working as an emergency 
room orderly for 2 years. He was President and founding board member of the Foundation 
for Art in Cinema in San Francisco (1976-1978) and a member of the board of the Film- 
Makers' Cooperative (1985-1988). He edited The Cinemanews, a West Coast avant-garde 
film quarterly, from 1976-1980. He developed the 303 East 8th Street H.D.F.C, the only 
successfully completed Manhattan artists housing project of the 80s, and founded the 
Segue Performance Space there. He was Director of the Segue Foundation, a non-profit 
literary organization, from 1985-1993, and President of Hip's Road, a non-profit new 
music foundation, from 1992-1993. He has edited numerous music videos and has been 
active as a curator throughout his career, running a periodic series through Segue since 

1979. His book. Making Money (1985), is available from Roof Books. He is married to 
Carol Volk, the translator (Renoir on Renoir, the New Ecological Order by Luc Ferry, 
etc.). He is currently editing Shakespeare's Richard III, a documentary by Al Pacino. 

George {1916, 1990); 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 

A portrait of George Kuchar composed on a J-K optical printer with 4 scenes always 
running simultaneously through frame alteration (frame 1 = frame 1, scene 1; frame 2 = 
frame 2, scene 2; frame 3 = frame 3, scene 3; frame 4 = frame 4, scene 4; frame 5 = frame 
5, scene 1 ; frame 6 = frame 6, scene 2; etc.). 

Kino Da! (1981); 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

A portrait of North Beach communist cafe poet Jack Hirschman, cut after the manner of 
radical Russian Futurist poetry. 

Heretic (1994); 16mm, color, sound, 22 minutes 

Heretic, or The Genius Preview, is composed from outtakes from the 1992 Joe 
Gibbons/Emily Breer feature The Genius, starring Gibbons, Karen Finley, Adolphus 
Mekas, Henry Hills, Mark McElhatten, Tony Oursler, Keith Sanborn, and Jennifer 
Montgomery. Original music by Naked City {Heretic, the original movie soundtrack, 
available on AVANT Records, disk UNION R-250225). Original titles, some 
rephotography off the original videos, and original narration performed by Frank Snider. A 
study of editing and its relation to the mechanics of the brain. Heretic initially poses as a 
preview to the Gibbons' film which it then deconstructs and reforms into a satire on 
psychotherapy. 

SSS (1988); 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes 

Composed from footage of movement improvised on the streets of the East Village by Sally 
Silvers, Pooh Kaye, Henry Shepperd, Lee Katz, Kumiko Kimoto, David Zambrano, 
Ginger Gillespie, Mark Dendy, and others, painstakingly synched to music previously 
improvised for the project at Noise New York by Tom Cora (cello). Christian Marclay 
(turntables), and Zeena Parkins (harp). 

Gotham {1990)', video, color, sound, 3 minutes 

A music video commissioned by Elektra Records to the Naked City song "Batman." Naked 
City is John Zorn (alto). Bill Frissell (guitar), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Fred Frith 
(bass), Joey Baron (drums), and Yamatsuka Eye (vocals). Taking the band's name and 
first album cover as a clue, I drew heavily on themes in WeeGee's photographs (his major 
collection. Naked City, inspired the title of Jules Dassin's great 1950s film noir classic 
which inspired the TV show of the same name, of which I employed a portion of an 



10 



Program Notes 1995 

episode). Recreating many of his pictures in their actual Lower East Side/Little Italy 
locations (a rare home movie shot of WeeGee— smoking a cigar— is also included) I shot 
much of the footage on grainy 4X and transferred off a workprint which I intentionally 
scratched up, to give an archival appearance. I also included archival footage (special 
thanks to Bill McCahey), Hollywood gangster movie outtakes and documentary excerpts 
(including actual morgue shots of John Dil linger— note the fly buzzing around his nose— 
and Baby-Face Nelson— with the police pointing out the fatal gunshot entry points). 

Bali Mecanique (1992,1993); 16mm, color, sound, 17 minutes 

Edited in two separate parts: a recreation of a Legong performance and a more airy, 
somewhat comical, music-video-style coupling of National Geographic-is landscape 
footage with the original Broadway production recording of "Bali-Hai" from South Pacific. 
The "Bali Hai" piece was made to counterbalance the almost academic precision of the 
Legong section— for myself in the long process of making, for an audience in the perhaps 
difficult process of viewing, for fun, and also to place myself in the picture. This song (the 
recording I used was the actual scratched-up LP that I had grown up with and recently 
found on the floor of a closet at my parent's house) with its dream of a paradise island 
away from all the cares and woes, and pictures of beautifully sculptured rice terraces that 
appeared at intervals over the years in National Geographic, were the material out of which 
my sustaining dreams of Bali sprouted. I combined the two sections at the very end of the *^ 
editing. Originally I put the Legong first, assuming this would be the more difficult section 
for the viewer— work first, then play. Some viewers, however, took the second part as a v 
commentary on the first section in a manner different than I intended, feeling that I was 
mocking or ridiculing the Balinese and their culture. This is absurd considering the 
hundreds of reverential hours I spent attempting to recreate the devastatingly lovely Legong 
for film. I have since reversed the order of the first and second sections, yielding more 
satisfactory results. The dance footage in the (now) opening section (briefly reprised at the 
end with its proper music) is from the "Oleg Tambulilingan" (or "erotic bumblebee"). 

The (now) second section presents a complete Legong dance, intercutting performances of 
three popular Peliatan dance companies with footage of sacred architecture and several 
Odalan temple celebrations. The casual documentary-style cinematography combines with 
an intricate jigsaw-puzzle-style of music-driven editing to create a sense of being in the 
center of the action. Perhaps the most popular dance in Bali, the Legong is always 
performed by three young girls, two dressed identically in green representing King Lasem 
and Princess Rankesari and the third dressed in red opening the dance as a servant, the 
Condong, and later reappearing as a Garuda. This is set to a precise accompaniment of a 
full gamelan orchestra. The dance is in four parts, each with substantially different (though 
internally repetitive) musical accompaniment: 1. the dance of the Condong; the longest 
section begins as an extended solo, changes in rhythm with the entry of the two legongs, 
and culminates in her handing them each a fan; 2. the Bapang: an angry fan dance, with the 
legongs moving "like twin breasts," ending with the Condong's exit; 3. the Penipoek: an 
increasingly erotic duo, abruptly terminated with Rankesari rebuffing Lasem and escaping; I 
4. the unheeded and unappreciated warning of the Garuda. In the 4th section imagery ' 
intercuts to emphasize and elucidate the structure of the music (and the manner in which 
rhythms of life and celebration in Bali inform rhythms of their music) building to an 
increasingly frenetic collage as the dance reaches its crescendo. The film ends with the 
famous Kris dance of Batubulan as it is performed today. 

Little Lieutenant (1993) , co-directed by Sally Silvers; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 

A look back at the late Weimar era with its struggles and celebrations leading up to the 
world war, a period piece. Scored to John Zorn's arrangement of the Kurt Weill song, 
"Little Lieutenant of the Loving God," and drawings its imagery from both the original 



11 



San Francisco Cinematheque 



song and its somewhat idiosyncratic rearrangement. The film presents an internal reading 
of Silvers' solo scored to the same musical piece, "Along the Skid Mark of Recorded 
History." Closely following the Zom arrangement, the film was storyboarded in 30 scenes 
(the arrangement changes approximately every 4 measures). Principally shot in a small 
studio employing rear screen projection, with foreground movement choreographed to 
interact with the projected imagery which reflects themes apparent in the song and its 
arrangement. Scenes range through a Citizen Kane-esque pan up a foreboding structure, 
idyllic lovers in both pastoral and industrial settings, labor marches, a lonely walk down a 
deserted alley, a bar brawl, a Motown-ish girl group, a dream sequence, and a giddy 
animation, up to the terrors of war and a bittersweet conclusion: an elaborate music video. 
Silvers and Cydney Wilkes portray dual aspects of the Salvation Army Lieutenant who 
sang the song in the Brecht/Weill play Happy End, with Kumiko Kimoto and Leonard 
Cruz as the lovers and Pilar Alamo and Toby Vzuin filling our the group. 

HENRY HILLS FlLMOGRAPHY: 

Films: Nobody Knows What's Going On In My Mind But Me (w.i.p.); Heretic (or the 
Genius Preview) (1994); Uttle Lieutenant (\993)\ Bali Mecanique (1992, 1993), Goa 
Lawah (1990, 1992); SSS (198S)\ Money (19S5)\ Radio Adios (1982); Kino Da/ (1981); 
Plagiarism ( \9S\y, North Beach 2 ( 1979); North Beach ( 1978); Joe/ ( 1977); Porter 
Springs J (1977); George (1976, 1988); Porter Springs 2 (1916) \ Balieire (1975); Porter 
Springs (1975). Videos: Elektra 40 years (1990); Naked City Series: Osaka Bondage 
( l992),Gotham (1990),Igneous Ejaculation ( 1990). 

•program notes by Henry Hills* 



Now in its thirty-fifth teatoii, the Cinpmatheque is 
better than ever. We are among the oldest presenters of 
non-commerdal film and video in the world. The San 
Frandsco Cinematheque renuins a vital part of one of 
Ihi* country'i hottest art scenes. 

\Mth as many as six dozen shows and five hutulred works 
•nmiaUy, the Cinematheque is the chief West Coast 
piCKnter of work by artists from our own area. In addition, 
«e bring to the Bay Area an incredible range of important 
new work from across the country and around the world. 
The Cinematheque has something for everyone. 



The San Franc 



Much of what we present goes on to signiflcani natiotui 
and international accbim. Have you noted how much of 
what is shown in important venues like New York's 
Whitney Biennial was seen much earlier at the San 
Francisco Cinematheque? It's true. So become a member 
now and be among the first to see an amazing variety of 
non<ommercial, experimental film and video right hete 
in San Francisco. 



Freedom of expression in the arts depends on the Rnan- 
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'SCO CJnemi 



the Cinenutheque. 



m(B 



takes risks 
for the art 




In spite of its limited resources, this organization 
has an enviable record of impact on the arts, both 
locally and nationally. 



Become a Cinematheque member now and lake part in 
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your generous help, we will continue to do so an4 to 
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ematheque is recognized worldwide. 

port the presentation of leading-edge film and video 

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ematheque today 



12 



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TM ayhona 415 jjl I119 



Program Notes 1995 



FILMS BY (AND SELECTED BY) ROSS LIPMAN: 
Ross LIPMAN IN PERSON 

Sunday, February 12, J 995 - SF Art Institute 



FILHS BY ROSS LIFHAN 



plus acleeted other works 



1. 



MUNICHBERUN WALKING TRIP 
(MONCHENBBRUN WASDERUSG) 

1927. 

4 min. B&W. 



OSKAR FISCHINGER 



WTCI NDTm (1971) 



MmnUh-Berlin Wathing Trip wai made 
in the lummer of 1927 when, because 
of (Inindal and legal difricultiei, Fis- 
chinger moved to Berlin, where the film 
busineM waj more profiuble. He walked 
10 Berlin from Munich and recorded hii 
Journey in a vijual diary composed of 
tingle-frame imagei of people and 
icenes. 1 he film it both comic and a 
faidnating document of pre-World War 
il rural Germany. 

7-1/t alfi. MM. Slltfit (MFFS). 



r1 * 



Citertooraphed and pcrfonatd by Tritha Brown. 



film by Babette Hangolte 



*Tht Ifiagc fadci In. For two tccondt Trttha It there itandlng mottonlett , and the ttartt to dance 
her tole 'Water Hotor,' Indeed atovlng at quickly at water. The movementt arc to fatt and 
Intricate that yov feci yoa arc alttlng hair of It. When the dance It finlthcd Tritha It ttandinf 
a* In the beginning, but clotcr to the camera and the Image fadct to black. Tlie Image fadet In 
again on Tritha doing the tame dance, but thit time In tlow motion (It wat thot at 4BFPS) and tht 
■ovaacnt ttkci en a 1vte1e«» quality which glvai you mere than what you have mlitcd btrert.***I.H. 



I 



iClno.1 



1 6mm, B/W, experimental. 9 minutet. 
Balaxi Bela Studio, Budapest, 1 99 1 . 



ThIt H a cinematic teK-portratt. In the ftlm't (Irti half. 

a tnntparent glati was placed between the camera and the tubjecL 

TMt served at a makeshift mirror at the camera't plane. 

The filmmaker looked In to tee what he could tee. 

The tecond half depicts the flkrwnaker, under scrutiny of naked 
lent, in varlout tatet and degrees of seH-consclousncss and 
pertentoutneti. 

4. Dawn Andraa Szirtes 

1973 -1978 16mm 

- B/W, sound. 21 mln. 

The film was made dorlng the 
couf M of (\rt ye VI, and It con- 
lifts of three pirts In the flrit 
pan we penetxite Into the In- 
dtntrlal nbarb'i miterlil lind- 
icape, right down to lu micro- 
icopk itriKfore. The Iniges are 
burning In pubttlng loltrit*- 
llon The letontptnylng sound 
h the lonnd of the beating 
heart, and the tound of bk>od 



film by Ross Lipman 



In the veins. The second part h 
a model of revohilk>n, using the 
esample of the physical trans- 
formation of a natural phenom- 
enon, that of bolHng water, r^ 
corded on film In micro and 
mtcro scales. The formatk>n of 
bubblet on the surface b Hk- 
ened to the behavh>ral patterns 
of people participating In a rev- 



Laszlo Hoholy-Nagy 
6 min. 



ohillonary process. When the 
anttgrt Wtatkmal force ceases, 
the agitation stops, giving way 
to a new evohiUonary period. 
The music Is a mixture of con- 
crete sottiids edited to accompa- 
ny the Images. The third pari Is 
one k)ng shot, a 360degree 
revohiUon of the camera, dur- 
ing which dawn arrives. The 
last Image It the freeie frame of 
I worker on the way to work. 
The sounds accompanying this 
tk)w panoramic shot are those 
of bbwing wind and of norte- 
cedetransmlttioni. 



1930 



5. Lightplay, blacK-white-grey 
16iim B/W, silent apr 

This simple film it composed 
of aequeneet of a Moholy-Nagy kinetk: acolpture. thot hi various 
degrees of close-op The sculpture is conceived In lermi of shadow and 
refteclion on various rotating metal planes and discs, tome of which are 
perforated allowing light to pass through. The film explores the visual 
experience of this work in a way which ellminalct the disturbance of its 
malerial nature on .the olav of liiht. ihade and rhythm. Malcolm Le Grice 



— £ £ 



6 

I 

Si 

Ex 




a I 
• I 



13 



San Francisco Cinematheque 



PARENTS 

NIGHT CRIES AND iN SEARCH OF OUR FATHERS 

Thursday, February 16, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Parental-filial bonds have become fertile ground for exploration in recent independent 
filmmaking. This evening's program includes two extremely different films— in approach, 
style, tone, and culture of origin— but both are unusual and provocative looks at the family. 
Defining and evaluating 'family' is an issue of vital political, cultural and economic 
importance today; one of things that Marco Williams' In Search of Our Fathers and Tracey 
Moffatt's Night Cries: a rural tragedy have in common is that they both question and 
challenge normative notions of what the family is. While Williams' film is a diaristic, 
documentary recording of both a personal and community-wide quest, Moffatt's piece is a 
hallucinatory re-creation of painful emotional experience. Both, however, are vivid and 
compelling portraits of the self and inquiries into the nature of identity with its sometimes 
troubled, sometimes empowering connection to "family" and to a larger community. 

— Irina Leimbacher 

Night Cries: a rural tragedy (1990), by Tracey Moffatt; 16mm, color, sound, 19 minutes 
distributed by Women Make Movies 

"A dazzling grand opera of silence and maternity, as opulent as Robert Wilson, as soulfully 
anguished as Fassbinder." — Manohla Dargis, Best of 1990 Village Voice 
On an isolated, surreal Australian homestead, a middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her 
dying white mother. The adopted daughter's attentive gestures mask an almost palpable 
hostility. Their story alludes to the assimilation policy that forced Aboriginal children to be 
raised in white femiilies. The stark, sensual drama unfolds without dialogue against vivid 
painted sets as the smooth crooning of an Aboriginal Christian singer provides ironic 
counterpoint. Moffatt's first 35mm film displays rare visual assurance and emotional 
power. 

'"Night Cries: a rural tragedy - is breathtaking. A highly-disciplined 'Alain Resnais'-type 
journey into the psyche and beyond. Night Cries is a 'dream film' reflecting Tracey 
Moffatt's reminiscences of her own childhood. It's also a hallucinatory anticipation of a 
worid that represents the reality of the artist's inner life. In other words a true self-portrait." 

— Paul Cox, Art Monthly Australia (August 1990) 

Tracey Moffatt, an Australian filmmaker, has written and directed Nice Colored girls 
(1986), Night Cries (1990) and Bedevil (1993), her first feature. Moffatt studied Film and 
Video Production at Queensland College of Art. Based in Sydney, she has worked in many 
Aboriginal communities throughout Australia as an independent film and video maker and 
photographer 

In Search of Our Fathers (1992), by Marco Williams; 16mm, color, sound, 70 minutes 
distributed by Filmmaker's Library 

"Emotionally and cinematically raw, Williams' film works as a meditation on his personal 
experience as well as a provocative social-science discourse." 

— Carrie Rickey, The Philadelphia Enquirer 

Personal odyssey intersects with social expose in this 70-minute documentary of the 24 
year old filmmaker's search for this father. The film follows Williams for over seven years, 
from the first phone call in his college dorm room to an emotional climax in the heartland of 
America; from Boston to Philadelphia to Paris to Springfield, Ohio, Williams travels into 



14 



Program Notes 1995 

the homes and memories of his extended family seeking to learn about his absent father and 
to understand the dynamic of single mothers in the African American community. As 
Williams p>eels away the layers of mystery that surround his father's absence, viewers will 
be moved and engaged by his single-minded determination. A riveting account of a son's 
search for identity and an affirmation of family ties in non-nuclear families, this film raises 
significant issues about relations between women and men, single-parent families in the 
African American community, and of course, fathers and sons. 

Marco Williams received a B.A. in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard 
University. He received dual degrees from U.C.L.A.: an M.A. in Afro-American Studies 
and an M.F.A. in their Producer's Program. In September 1994, Williams joined the 
faculty of the North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking. In addition to his 
documentary filmwork, Marco has also directed fiction film. His dramatic short Without a 
Pass (1992) was nominated for three CABLEACE Awards. His award winning 
documentary film credits include: co-producer/director From Harlem to Harvard, 
producer/director oi In Search of Our Fathers (1992), and co-producer of Uncommon 
Ground (1994). Williams is currently working as writer-director on an ITVS funded 
project. Making Peace, a documentary about violence in America. 

• program notes by Emily Golembiewski, C Whiteside, and Irina Leimbacher • 



AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA: 1955-1993 :A 

PROGRAM 7: INTERIOR SPACES f 

MARC ADRIAN IN PERSON <^ ^ 

Sunday, February 19, 1995 — Pacific Film Archive -^ 

Investigating the personal through a mechanical medium is a paradoxical challenge for an 
artist, but it is one which has appealed to independent filmmakers in this country for the last 
fifty years. The films in this program reflect upon, rather than construct the personal 
through objects, images, pre-existing footage, texts and various techniques of image 
distortion. 

Eight of the films on this evening's program are by Marc Adrian. Bom in Vienna in 1930, 
Adrian is best known as the first European filmmaker to use a computer for the random- 
generation of text-images {Random, 1964). Adrian was educated at the Academy of Fine 
Arts in Vienna and at ITHEC Film College in Paris. From 1965 on he studied perception 
psychology at Vienna University and was a professor of Painting and Aesthetic Theory at 
the Academy on Fine Arts, Hamburg from 1970-73. 

A painter and sculptor, Adrian turned to cinema in the mid-1950s in an attempt to crystallize 
his ideas on kineticism and op-art. His earliest film work can be seen as conceptualized acts 
of provocation. One of his first films was Black Movie (1958), made with Kurt Kren. 
Black Movie, a totally abstract film, consists of monochrome color frames, their length and 
sequence stipulated by a mathematically determined system. Black Movie contains in a 
nutshell the crux of Adrian's film work: based on strict calculation and invariant principles 
of construction, it employs a finite number of formal elements that are structured 
rhythmically over time to produce a non-mimetic, transcendent viewing experience. His 
longest film, Der Regen {Rain, 1983), is an investigative avant-garde film " that was on 
my mind for 25 years. I started working on it in 1957 with Kurt Kren, who did the camera 



15 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

work and contributed a lot of ideas. The basic text is a play, which was more or less ready 
in 1957 and which I started filming at the same time. I tried to relate the texts and the 
rhythmic structures to an analogous structural scheme of visual design and to place the 
meaning of the pictures- where it could not be avoided- in a contrastive context with the 
sp>oken text. .Der Regen is probably my most personal film to date." 

— M. Adrian interviewed by C.C. Eisendraht 

"Marc Adrian*s films cogently lead to a confrontation with prevailing ideologies and the 
sense or meaning they construct. This confrontation is not only confined to Adrian's films 
but also necessarily embraces his writings, kinetic objects and glasscapes. Marc Adrian 
sees the task of art as being the visualization of problem-awareness, the articulation of 
taboos and the expression of myths. Language has for him an essential role in the 
conditioning of social awareness, which explains his passionate interest in semantic 
structures and their optical manifestation. What he aims at is to challenge this deterministic 
role, to question its validity and, where possible, to offer other options." 
^ — Martin Prucha 

Films By Marc Adrian: 

Black Movie II{\959)\ 16mm, color, silent, 198 seconds 

1. Mai 1958 (May 1, 1958) (1958); 16mm, b/w, silent, 165 seconds 

Wo'da-vor-hei {\9^)\ 16mm, b/w, silent, 70 seconds 

Random (1963); 35mm, b/w, sound, 285 seconds 

Text / (1963); 35mm, b/w, sound, 154 seconds 

Orange (1962-64); 35mm, b/w, sound, 3 minutes 

Der Regen (The Rain) (1983); 16mm, color, sound, 30 minutes 

92 Avignon (1994); 16mm, color, sound, 7.5 minutes 

Parallel Space: Inter-View {1992), by Peter Tscherkassky; 
16mm, b/w, sound, 18 minutes 

What always matters to me is an intensive visual quality. That's the doorway to a film, and 
everything else comes later. In Parallel Space: Inter -View too, I'm working on this dense, 
sensual level. And if anyone sees the drama of Oedipus represented in it, likewise forming 
a theme occupying these parallel spaces on a metaphorical level, then so much the better. 
(PT) 

"Parallel Space: Inter-View was made using a still camera. The photograph produced by a 
35mm camera corresponds exactly to the size of two film frames, and if the negative of a 
photograph is projected, two film frames are seen. With a photograph taken in a vertical 
frame position, first the upper and then the lower half of the image is projected." 

— GabrieleJutz 

walk in (1969), by Moucle Blackout; 16mm, color and b/w, sound, 6 minutes 

The primary film consists of a scene of 720 frames.. .This scene is divided consecutively 
into 6 parts, T1-T6. The addition of these parts follows the scheme mentioned below. 
A=T1, B=A+T2, C=A+B+T3, etc. A+B+C-i-D+E+F= total length of the film. (MB) 

Zum Geburtstag (For Your Birthday) (1991), by Linda Christanell; 
16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 



16 



Program Notes 1995 

"Linda Christanell never uses the body to create direct reproductions of female 
physiognomy as a whole but relies on ersatz objects in such a way as to turn them into 
erotic signals of polymorphous origin. ... All these objects are in a functional relationship 
to the central narcissistic self-presentation of the eirtist, permitting her to project her own 
personality onto objects of a clearly libidinous character while at the same time avoiding the 
total exposure of her own body." 

— Katharina Sykora 

piece touchee {\9W), by Martin Arnold; 16mm, b/w, sound, 16 minutes 

*'FoT piece touchee . . .Arnold used a homemade optical printer to analyze the visual motion 
in an 18-second shot from The Human Jungle (1954, directed by Joseph M. 
Newman)... A mold uses his optical printer to lay bare the gender-political implications of 
the husband's arrival and to transform this gesture, which has become nearly invisible to 
most viewers, into a phantasmagoria of visual effects that would make any trick film 
director proud." 

— Scott MacDonald 

After the show, the audience is invited to an informal gathering with the filmmaker. 

•information about the films and filmmakers are excerpted from our catalogue, 
Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema 1955-1993 on sale at the Cinematheque* 



THE FILMS OF YOKO ONO 

Thursday, February 23, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Yoko Ono's status as a popular figure tends to eclipse her achievements as an artist, 
especially with regard to her activities as a filmmaker. Especially prolific as a filmmaker 
between the years 1966 and 1971, Ono made her films in the context of the Fluxus 
movement under the auspices of George Maciunas. She also produced "film scripts", or 
descriptions of conceptual, viewer-specific "films", many of which could not exist as actual 
film works. Concerned with the formal qualities of the cinema and the experiential aspects 
of cinema spectatorship (especially time and movement), Ono played a significant role in 
the articulation of the Fluxus aesthetic, inflecting the terms by which filmmakers 
understand the structural material elements of the cinema. 

Yoko Ono studied poetry and music at Sarah Lawrence College during the 1950s, after 
which she moved to New York City and became involved with a group of avant-garde 
musicians and performers, including John Cage, Merce Cunningham and LaMonte Young, 
who presented his "Chambers Street Series" at Ono's loft at 1 12 Chambers Street. Ono's 
early compositions include A Grapefruit in the World of Park, and A Piece for 
Strawberries and Violins, performed by Yvonne Rainer. 

During the early 1960s, Ono became heavily involved with the Fluxus movement, 
participating in performances and creating installation/sculptural works. Ono's work tends 
to directly address its audience, foregrounding the dialectical relationship between work 
and subject and explicitly implicating the viewer in the act of aesthetic consumption. This 
quality is evident in both her films and those of the other Fluxus artists, which often 
function less as films than as meta-films, identifying the structural assumptions of 
institutional cinematic form and recontextualizing the relation between subject, image and 
film-object (material). 



17 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

The Museum of Modern Art Show ( 1971); 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes 
"In 1971 Yoko Ono placed advertisements in New York City newspapers announcing her 
upcoming one- woman retrospective at the Museum of Modem Art — a fabrication, much 
to the displeasure of the museum. But when people arrived to see the show, Ono had a 
cameraman waiting to interview them; their opinions, ranging from angry to amused, make 
up this film." 

—Tom Smith, New York Museum of Modem Art 

No. 4 (Bottoms) (1966); 16mm, b/w, sound, 80 minutes 

"Take any film and bury it underground for fifty years. Its like wine.. Any film, any cheap 
film, if you put it underground for fifty years becomes interesting [laughter]. You just take 
a shot of people walking, and that's enough: the weight of history is incredible." 

—Yoko Ono, Film Quarterly interview (Fall 1989) 

Produced by George Maciunas, and part of his RuxFilms series, this is the second version 
of her shorter (5 1/2 minute) silent film of the same title. No. 4 (Bottoms) encapsulates the 
gestalt of her filmmaking enterprise. Described by Ono as "an aimless petition, signed by 
people with their anuses," the film consists entirely of sequential images of human 
buttocks, close-cropped in order to fill the frame, shot with the aid of a special machine 
which enabled the camera to follow the subjects as they walked about a room. Unlike the 
earlier film, this version includes a soundtrack, comprised primarily of the reactions of the 
film's unwitting subjects to the nature of their "role" in the production and the premise of 
the work itself. 

Often understood in terms of the structural cinema contemporaneous to it, this film 
nonetheless occupies a distinct point of tension between purely formal and representational 
imagery. Although exhibiting many of the hallmark characteristics of the stmctural cinema 
(serial images, an emphasis on formal and rhythmic qualities, and a radical schism with the 
narrative codes of institutional cinematic language), the specific referential ity of the image is 
never wholly subsumed within the project of the deconstmction of the cinematic signifier. 
Formally reminiscent of, albeit wildly politically divergent from, Anne Severson's Near the 
Big Chakra, the element of humor inherent to No. 4 (Bottoms) stems from the ridiculously 
unrepresentable nature of the profilmic. This sense of a subject both beyond film and yet 
unfilmable differentiates No. 4 (Bottoms) from the more purely formal structural cinema 
and imbues it with a brand of unassuming humor particular to the Ruxus movement. 

YOKO ONO FILMOGRAPHY 

Eyeblink (1966) (AKA One, One Blink, RuxFilm #15 and #19); No. 1 (1966) (AKA 
Match, HuxFilm #14); No. 4 (1966) (AKA HuxFilm #16); No. 4 (Bottoms) (1966); Film 
No. 5 (Smile) (1968); Two Virgins (1968) with John Lennon; Bed-In (1969) with John 
Lennon; Rape (1969) with John Lennon; Apotheosis (1970) with John Lennon; Fly 
(1970); Freedom (1970); Up Your Legs Forever (1970); Erection (1971) with John 
Lennon, Imagine (1971) with John Lennon; The Museum of Modern Art Show {1911); Ten 
for Two: Sisters, O Sisters (1972) with John Lennon; Walking On Thin Ice (1981); 
Woman {\98\y. Goodbye Sadness (1982). 

• program notes by Brian Frye • 



18 



Program Notes 1995 

WHO IS DORIS WISHMAN 

AND WHY ARE HER SEXPLOITATION FILMS SO ODD AND ORIGINAL? 

CURATED AND PRESENTED BY PEGGY AHWESH 

Friday, February 24, 1996—Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. 

Nude on the Moon ( 1 962) 
Double Agent (1914) 

Saturday, February 25, 1996— Artists Television Access, 992 Valencia 

Bad Girls Go To HeU ( 1 965) 
A Taste of Flesh (1967) 

"Doris Wishman made 25 films for the soft core porn circuit all of which are a rare blend of 
the prurient, the tacky, and the bizarre. Starting in 1960 with nudist camp pictures, 
Wishman proceeded with rough sex play an lots of lingerie, then in the 1970s used 
gimmicks such as killer breasts, penis transplants and transgender operations as vehicles 
for her films. The stories are wacky and weird with a seedy underlining of the true fear of 
and hostility towards women." 

—Peggy Ah wesh 



poSSt5SEt> VV»TH SEX. . V 





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San Francisco Cinematheque 

EASTERN EUROPE: OPPOSITIONAL MEDIA 1989-92 
CURATED AND PRESENTED BY CHRIS HILL 

Thursday, March 2, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Video news magazines produced with consumer camcorders by citizens' groups in 
Hungary (Black Box) and former Czechoslovakia (Original Video Journal) were part of 
vital underground news networks prior to government reforms in 1989-90. Black Box 
documented 60,000 people demonstrating in front of the Magyar TV building in Budapest 
in 1992 because the Media Law, a national telecommunications act establishing that TV and 
radio be free from government interference, was (and remains) threatened by conservative 
leadership. Citizens' camcorders documented citizens and soldiers battling for the control 
of television studios and radio transmitters in Romania in 1989 and in Lithuania in 1991. 
And government-controlled TV crews decided in 1989-91 to broadcast reports on strikes 
and mass demonstrations against censoring authorities in former Czechoslovakia, Romania 
and the former USSR, signaling to their fellow citizens that a democratic media would be 
an essential public stage for setting new political and cultural agendas in Eastern Europe. 

In examining tapes produced during this period of dramatic reform in Eastern Europe, it is 
clear that camcorder documentation of public dialogue and active resistance, the timely 
copying and wide distribution of videotaped evidence of activism, and the control of TV 
and radio broadcast studios and transmitters were strategic challenges to centralized 
communications systems which controlled access to the means of production and 
distribution of information. 

Independent work from 1989-91 not only testifies to a public's passionate desire for free 
speech and creation of open channels, it additionally challenged the often decades-long 
inability of most of the citizenry in eastern Europe to simply access duplication 
technologies- printing presses, xerox machines, tape dubbing, making prints of films. 
When speaking to people about media and information exchange before the reforms of 
1989-90, most describe gossip and samizdat— illegal printed materials and most recently 
illegal video— as the primary channels of opposition. 

Many Americans would find life without copiers virtually inconceivable and would voice 
solidarity with media activists in Eastern Europe, understanding that challenging their 
monolithic media apparatus would be fundamental to establishing new and democratic 
societies. Of course, our own self-congratulating democratic society reflects the deadly 
injustices of keeping certain communities virtually invisible within mainstream media, of 
reducing the articulation of important issues to sound bites, and of limiting the access of a 
diverse spectrum of speakers to a public stage. 

During the past year I collaborated with Keiko Sei, a journalist working since 1987 with 
independent media makers in Budapest, Prague and Bucharest, to organize for U.S. 
audiences a program of video-tapes made by citizens' video collectives, independent TV 
producers and artists in Eastern Europe, most of them using camcorders and simple off-line 
editing such as is commonly available through public access centers. 

Like public access producers here, citizens' groups in these countries were producing video 
documentation of unreported political and cultural events. Underground video news 
magazines by the Czech Original Video Journal (OVJ), for example, show East Germans in 
August 1989 (three months before the Berlin Wall fell and the Velvet Revolution resulted in 
major reforms in former Czechoslovakia), demanding temporary asylum in Prague and 
finally emigration to West Germany. These desperate asylum-seekers who occupied the 
city center for days provoked what was later described as the beginning of the dissolution 

20 



Program Notes 1995 

of existing governments. The OVJ tapes are fascinating because, as with a good pubic 
access show, the producers demonstrate a commitment to participate actively in a public 
dialogue enriched by independent points of view. 

Without access to any legal public exhibitions or channels, however, these tapes- 
important evidence of active opposition to existing policies and governments— were 
screened in private apartments or storefronts and bicycled to other towns, often at great 
personal risk. The Hungarian Black Box collective began in 1987 to create an independent 
underground video archive and circulate news reports. Through the reform period of 1988- 
90 they documented landmark political meetings, late night shredding and dumping of 
official records, rallies of emerging nationadist groups, interviews with disenfranchised 
ethnic minority communities. Their illegal tapes became widely distributed public evidence 
that official authorities were being challenged by citizens in different parts of the country. 
Hungarian writer Marianna Padi remarks: "The force and potential danger the Black Boxes 
represent against power abusers in Hungary lies in the mere existence of their compilated 
material. The obese Black Box archives (the result of their indefatigable, constant presence 
virtually everywhere where the 'flow' is likely to become an 'event') form not just a 
collection of news items. They constitute a fragment of the hidden conscience of the 
country" (from "Black Box," in Next 5 Minutes Zapbook; 1992). 

After the 1989-91 reforms, the reconstruction of national media resources became highly 
contested territory. Decisions around (de)centralization of resources and access to 
production and distribution directly impacted political, social, and cultural agendas in 
nation-building. Furthermore, media channels and viewers/consumers constituted an 
economic asset which could function as part of some government's construction of the 
public good or be exchanged for much needed cash in times of extreme economic hardship. 

In Lithuania in 1992, one year after declaring independence from the former USSR, 
evening television offered hours of national debate on restructuring housing policies, 
modestly produced by local crews, as well as imported entertainment and the world news 
from satellite— music videos from Moscow, films from Poland, international news from 
Great Britain. In a recent interview, independent Hungarian TV producers Judit Kopper 
and Andras Solyom estimated that 40% of Hungarian television is imported, much of it 
from the U.S. While Americans become xenophobic over foreign investors buying up 
U.S. urban real estate, farms and businesses, there is little information presented to the 
public here about how the second largest net U.S. export, entertainment media, functions 
as part of the cultural diet and national economy in developing countries. 

Produced for television from 1988-93, Kopper' s encyclopedic series Videoworld 
addressed the enterprises of mass and personal media making in both Eastern and Western 
Europe... Their program TV Boris and Video Misha studied the struggle on Soviet 
television between what was described as Eastern word-dominated and Western image- 
based media cultures. Kopper remarked, "We are involved with Videoworld and still ask 
ourselves the question over and over again: what really is video?.. .an art which works like 
narcotics and is a drug to both young and old?.. .a weapon of politics?.. .a misused means 
of communication in international and national television?" Kopper and Solyom 's incisive 
media analysis and sincere questioning of both media consumption and media making by 
amateurs, artists and television professionals is unlike any U.S. commercial television I am 
aware of. In its attention to heartfelt local cultural concerns and the development of public 
dialogue it is much more akin to public access programming. In December, 1993, 
Videoworld was canceled by the newly empowered conservative national leadership. 



21 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Other remarkable documents from this period include Gusztav Hamos' tape 1989— the 
Real Power o/ TV featuring his grandmother shopping, making soup, watching television, 
news of demonstrations and government changes in Romania, East Germany, 
Czechoslovakia, and Hungary in 1989. Hamos, who is visiting Budapest after a 10 year 
absence, analyzes archival television news footage from 1956-89, and interviews 
Hungarian news anchors and managers. 

In recent years as political and economic instability continues throughout the region, much 
of what was originally claimed by demonstrative citizens as public space has been contested 
or taken back by ruling elites. We, too, have seen an erosion of public space in the U.S. in 
recent years, and democratic access to the expanding information superhighway will surely 
be an ongoing struggle. But an oppositional voice did emerge in Eastern Europe as 
Hungarians, Czechoslovaks and Romanians in 1989-90 were able to focus available media, 
the modest camcorder productions bicycled through the city as well as the cameras and 
microphones tethered to the broadcast towers, to disseminate information and establish new 
electronic forums, however fragile, where public agendas could be debated. 

—Chris Hill, "Citizen Producers in Eastern Europe, 1989-1991," 

Community Media Review (April 1994) 

1989— The Real Power of TV (1990) by Gusztav Hamos (Hungary); 
video, color, sound, 58 minutes 

TV Boris and Video Misha (1992) by Judit Kopper/Friz Productions with Andrds Solyom 
(Hungary); video, color, sound, 45 minutes 

Temetes (Funeral) ( 1992) by Judit Kopper/Friz Productions with Andrds Solyom 
(Hungary); video, color, sound, 7 minutes 

History condensed into seven minutes. The assembly of mythical documentary shots for 
the soviet funeral cult from 1924, from the burial of Lenin to the burial of the three general 
secretaries in the eighties in explosive rhythm. The film funeral of the failed system. The 
pictures are built on the spoken poetry of Akos Szildgyi, with the mystical ritual quotation 
from Istvan Martha interchanged with dramatic music (performed by Amadinda) a 
recollection of the Soviet Union like a smash in the face. (—Friz Productions) 

Perumos {Bombs in Czech; Lightning in Romany) (1992) by Petr Vrana (Czech); 
video, color, sound, 5 minutes. 

Conception: 

to be more intense and destructive in A/V than all nationalistic agitators; 

a visualization of nationalism and racism in the CSFR. 
Soundtrack: 

slsing/swearwords of all the ethnic groups (Slovaks, Moravians, Bohemians, 

gypsies) contesting for recognition in post-Communist governments 
Music: 

scratch version of Czech and Slovakian hymns. (PV) 

Chris Hill has served on the Board of Directors of BCAM, Buffalo's public access 
operator, since 1990, and is video curator at Hallwalls, an artists-run center in Buffalo, 
New York. She currently teaches at SUNY Buffalo's Department of Media Studies and 
produces videotapes. 



22 



Program Notes 1995 



AN EVENING OF RELENTLESS FUN i 

SOME FILMS BY ALFONSO ALVAREZ AND THAD POVEY 

Sunday, March 5, 1995— SF Art Institute 

Indelible fixtures of the Bay Area film landscape, Thad Povey and Alfonso Alvarez tonight 
present a joint retrospective of their work. While Povey's wry use of found footage creates 
a landscape littered with strangely familiar faces that become silent images in the mirror 
held up to ourselves, Alvarez' brilliantly hued optical manipulations lead us back to some 
of our childhood dreams. Their work alternately delves into the psyche of identity, searches 
for spiritual redemption in a war-loving society, celebrates centennials, and discovers the 
Virgin Mary hidden within the optical printer. _ _ 

Un Film Terrible (1985), by Alfonso Alvarez; S-8mm, color, sound, 2.5 minutes 

A first film effort. My desire was to create a film that examines the end of the filmmaking 
spectrum as far from the "perfect narrative film" as possible. In it I've combined a set of 
elements that I can't seem to get away from: scratched leader, hand coloring and found 
footage. 

Ahem (1994), by Thad Povey in collaboration with Susan Dory; 
S-8mm from 16mm, color, sound, 2.5 minutes 

Popcorn. Chase Sequence. Special effects. Two sex scenes. This film has got it all without 
the burden of a camera. 

Memory Eye (1988), by Alfonso Alvarez; 16mm, color, sound, 4.5 minutes 

A look at the process of remembering: a flickering memory, images emerging from 
childhood, glimpses of place and the sounds of familiar voices. This is an exploration of 
the places memory is held. 

/ Smell the Blood of an Englishman (1995), Thad Povey; 
16mm, color, sound, 17.5 minutes 

A suite of four films dealing with two words: "human" and "being"— order of the two 

words is not important. The four films, following the sequence of FEE F\ FO FUM, are as 

follows: 

"Thine Inward-Looking Eyes" 

Possibly a talk show for the telepathic. Relax. Take a deep breath. . ...-.? 

"The Sweetest Sandwich " 

Dry and crusty on the ends, full of chicken, tomatoes, honey, and com in the 

middle. Music by Soul Coughing with lyrics inspired by an encounter with a drunk 

man at the comer or Second Avenue and Third Street in New York. 
"Learning to Slump" 

An info-tone-poem. 
"On Any Given Thursday" 

The things we do. In the words of Bokonon: "Tiger got to hunt. Bird got to fly; 

Man got to sit and wonder, 'Why, why, why?' Tiger got to sleep. Bird got to land; 

Man got to tell himself he understand." 

Quixote Dreams (1990-91), by Alfonso Alvarez; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

We visit unresting Don Quixote, directed by God to right all wrongs and who has found 
himself in a landscape of broken dreams and useless wars. Spent and collapsing, the Don 
enters a dream world. 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

A Different Kind of Green {\9S9), by Thad Povey; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 
Gazing back at the child watching me I glimpse a sense of the nonsense that defines me 
currently. 

motel six (1988), by Alfonso Alvarez; 16mm, color, sound, 4.5 minutes 

Coming back from a Dead show in Ventura, Ca., our '68 Volkswagen decides to opt for an 
early retirement. Stuck 30 miles north of Bakersfield, we embark on an adventure saturated 
with boredom, heat, and dust. 

Media Darling ( 1991), by Thad Povey; 16mm from S-8, b/w, sound, 8 minutes 

A macabre post-quake reflection on the American Media Machine as vampires in search of a 
bloody sound bite. 

Film For,.. (1989), by Alfonso Alvarez; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 

A collection of found and original footage as well as dialogue and statements, documenting 
gender politics and the seeming lack of a substantial change in spite of our feeling to the 
contrary. 

Duermete Ninita (1994), by Thad Povey; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 
A lullaby for a grandmother on the first birthday of her second century. 

La Reina (1993), by Alfonso Alvarez; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

Some cool optical printing of luridly saturated colors, matched with subtly layered audio 
tracks to create a cinematic experience not unlike being visited by the Virgen de Guadalupe. 

Open for Business (Work-in-Progress, 1995), by Thad Povey; 
16mm, color, silent, 2.5 minutes 

A visit to the new museum for an opening... what was in that friendly Chablis? 

Your Mom (Work-in-Progress, 1994-95), by Alfonso Alvarez; 
16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 

Revisiting filmmaking elements I just can't seem to get enough of— groovy optical 
printing, hand colored leader, found footage and scratched black leader. 

Thad Povey was bom in Red Bluff in 1959, went to college in San Luis Obispo, and has 
lived primarily in San Francisco since 1982. In his early twenties he began to toy with 
Super-8 film and cameras, but was mostly involved with the guitar and musical 
composition. After catching the film bug while hanging around NYU in the mid-eighties, 
he came back to San Francisco in 1986 and has been working on short independent 
projects ever since. 

Alfonso Alvarez: After seeing Un Chien AndaloUy I realized you could only trust 
surrealists when it comes to all the formal aspects of filmmaking. So I thought I would try 
my hand at making film. After 10 years, I'm stiH trying. I completed my B.F.A. in 1990 at 
the California College of Arts and Crafts, under the direction of local filmmakers Lynn 
Kirby, Barbara Hammer and Donald Day. My M.A. was completed in 1994 at the Cinema 
Department at San Francisco State University... I can't tell yet if I learned anything in film 
school, except how to write checks to film labs. (AA) 

please join the filmmakers for a reception after the show 



24 



Program Notes 1995 



NOT BEIRUT: VIDEOS BY JALAL TOUFIC & JAYCE SALLOUM 

JALAL TOUFIC IN PERSON 

Thursday, March 9, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

In these two works about, yet not 'about', Beirut, video essayists Jalal Toufic and Jayce 
Salloum engage in provocative meditations on a problematized and constantly re- 
constructed Lebanon. 

Credits Included : A Video in Red and Green (1995), by Jalal Toufic; 
video, color, sound, 50 minutes 

Credits Included: A Video in Red and Green registers the withdrawal of tradition past a 
surpassing disaster (the fifteen-year Lebanese civil war); produces completed crossword 
puzzles with subsisting blank spaces in a country of shattered shop signs; documents the 
rise in the 1992-Beirut of an anomalous and sublime architecture of bricks in a period 
where it seems Arabs are being driven to the Stone Age (Palestinians throwing stones at the 
Israeli army in the Occupied Territories, etc.); and uses fiction to document in an aparte the 
eruption outside mental hospitals of either diagrammatic or psychotic effects. (JT) 

This Is Not Beirut : There was and there was /lo/ (1994), by Jayce Salloum; 
video, color, sound, 48 minutes 

This tape is at the most fundamental level, a personal project: i) examining the use of 
images/representations of Lebanon and Beirut both in the West and in Lebanon itself; ii) 
recording the interactions and experiences while working in Lebanon, focusing on the 
undertaking of this representational process as a Lebanese and a westernized, foreign bom 
mediator with cultural connections and baggage of both the West and Lebanon and some of 
the disparities and disjunctions arising in each; and iii) situating the work between genres 
looking from the inside out at each and engaging critically... the assumptions imposed and 
thus broken. [I]n this site of complexity one's identity is found and constructed... (JS) 

Jalal Toufic is a writer, film theorist, and video artist. He is the author of Distracted 
(Station Hill Press, 1991) and (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film 
(Station Hill Press, 1993), and the video maker of Credits Included: A Video in Red and 
Green (1995). He left (did he leave?) Beirut— a city where "nothing [is] left. Not even 
leaving"— to New York in 1984. He currently teaches cinema at San Francisco State 
University. 

Jayce Salloum is a Canadian/Lebanese artist who has been working in video since 1984 
and whose recent work includes (Talaeen A Junuub)/ Up to the South (1993, co-directed 
with Walid Ra'ad). An extension of his involvement in installation, photography and mixed 
media during the mid-seventies, Salloumn's video work deals with a variety of contexts, 
critically engaging questions of representation and cultural manifestation. Through 
collaboration with Lebanese filmmakers and extensive interviews with a broad cross- 
section of people affected by the Middle East crisis, Jayce continually questions media's 
construction of culture and its pervasive influence in the political and personal realms of 
one's life. Since completion of his last work, Jayce has been focusing on the establishment 
of a permanent media center in Beirut to increase the opportunity for the Lebanese people to 
tell their sides of the story. 

• program notes by Todd Wagner • 



25 



San Francisco Cinematheque 



NEW YORK SCUM : 

NEW FILMS BY RICHARD KERN, BETH B., AND OTHERS 

RICHARD KERN IN PERSON 

Sunday, March 12, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

Tonight we present a sampling of Bay Area premieres of new film and video from the 
slimy streets of New York City, including a rare appearance by legendary underground 
filmmaker Richard Kern. Beyond the NYC connection, there isn't really a theme to 
tonight's program, though if the works have one thing in common, it's obsession— all of 
tonight's films and tapes deal directly with the nature of obsession in varying degrees of 
intensity... Enjoy the show! 

From Beijing to Brooklyn ( 1994), by Arlene Sandler and Anie Stanley; 
video, color, sound, 15 minutes 

One of the audience favorites of Mix '94 (New York Gay and Lesbian Experimental Film 
and Video Festival)... this fake movie preview sets up the story of Oriental sex goddess 
Fuk So Much and her battle with the evil forces of anti-pom feminism as embodied in the 
character of Bemice B. Good. Featuring the members of Thrust, NYC's preeminent dyke- 
slut-pom- punk- garage band. Lesbian smut was never this obnoxious! 

High Heel Nights (1995), by Beth B; video, color, sound, 10 minutes 

Beth B. (Two Small Bodies) shot this compassionate portrait of drag queens as part of 
"NYC Postcards", a series of 10-minutes glimpses of New York City commissioned for 
European television. 

24 Hours a Day (1994), by Jocelyn Taylor; video, color, sound, 9 minutes 

Two women eat some mangoes in this gender-bending lesbian erotic daydream with quietly 
blistering funk undertones. 'The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice". 

Dirty (1994), by Tessa Hughes-Freeland and Annabel Lee; 
S-8mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

Tessa Hughes-Freeland was/is one of the most active (yet under-recognized) pioneers of 
the "Cinema of Transgression" movement. Co-directed with San Francisco-based artist 
Annabel Lee (The Bitches, Red Spirit Lake), Dirty is based on a short story by Georges 
Bataille. 

-intermission- 

New Films (And An Oldie) By Richard Kern 

Richard Kern's films have been consistently offending people for the last decade. Kem is 
the most infamous filmmaker of New York's "Cinema of Transgression" movement; a 
mid-80's underground Super-8mm movement which tumed it's back on the rigidly defined 
art school "avant-garde" in favor of a raw punk aesthetic. His earlier films featured a 
cavalcade of Lower East Side celebrities; Lydia Lunch, Nick Zedd, Sonic Youth, Karen 
Finley, etc...., and his notorious 1986 film Fingered defined the notion of "shock value" 
for the 80' s. Lately, Kern has been concentrating his efforts on photography, and two 
monographs of his stunning S/M pin-up portraits will be released soon. Tonight's program 
focuses on Kern's most recent films, including a cherished oldie (Manhattan Love 
Suicides), and two Kem-directed music videos. 



26 



:? Program Notes 1995 

"Richard Kern is a pomographer by default. His intention is not to make porno movies so 
much as it is to make movies about what people do when unleashed and left to their own 
devices. People unbridled want sex, and they express that desire one way or another. Make 
a movie about what people want, and you've made a porno movie." 

—George Petros, Screw Magazine 

"The last narrative that totally interested me was a story in which G.G. Allin was going to 
play the father. He would've been this rock star dad who comes home and his wife fist 
fucks him at the dinner table, then he'd go into his daughters room 2ind fuck her, then he'd 
go to the son's room and fuck his son and his friends in a big gay orgy scene.. .So I had 
this story worked out and then G.G. overdosed on the day we had set to start filming. To 
me, that would've been an interesting film because itwpuld have had a lot of what I guess 
you'd consider shocking stuff." 

—Richard Kern, 1994 

Manhattan Love Suicides (1985); S-8mm, b/w, sound, 35 minutes 

Featuring David Wojnarowicz, Bill Rice, Nick Zedd, and others. Music by JG Thirlwell 
and Dream Syndicate. 

Horoscope (1991); S-8mm, color and b/w, sound, 5 minutes 

Featuring Holly Adams, Bob Drywall and Squeak Wilentz. Music by Joe Budenholzer. 

Nazi (1991); S-8mm, color, sound, 2 minutes 
Featuring Annabelle Davies. Music Budenholzer. 

The Sewing Circle (1992); S-8mm, color, sound, 7 minutes ¥■ 

Featuring Kembra Phfaler, Lisa Resurrection and Carrie. 

My Nightmare (1993); S-8mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 
Featuring Susan McNamara and R. Kern. 

The Bitches ( 1992); S-8mm, b/w, sound, 10 minutes i^ . 

Featuring Linda Serbu, Annabelle Davies and Charles Wing. Music by Budenholzer. ' ; 

Body Bomb ( 1993); video, color, sound, 5 minutes 
A rock video for UNSANE. 

Lunchbox (1994); video, color, sound, 5 minutes 
A rock video for Marilyn Manson. 



PERSONAL WITNESS: 
NEW FILMS BY CAITLIN MANNING 

Caitlin Manning In Person 

Thursday, March 16, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Caitlin Manning has been making fiction films and documentary videos continually since 
she finished her first video, the award- winning Stripped Bare, in 1988. Before this she 
had been writing articles on sexuality, feminism and the sex industry, mostly for 
Processed World magazine which she had co-founded in 1981. One night a friend in the 
sex industry suggested they do a video on the subject. "I had no idea what I was getting 



27 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

myself into, but two years and a video later I was completely enthralled by this form of 
expression, and I knew that I had somehow found my creative niche." 

There is a striking contrast between Manning's formal style as a video-documentary maker 
and as an experimental or narrative filmmaker. The content clearly affects her choice of 
medium: "After Stripped Bare I turned to film. Because the medium is more sensual, 
immediate, dream-like, it seemed like the ideal form to explore those complicated, difficult 
psychic spaces in a more raw, intellectually unprocessed way." Her later documentaries 
take on a more overtly political tone, with Mexican and South American politics as the 
subject. These documentaries (Brazilian Dreams and Noah's Ark) were made in 
collaboration with Chris Carlsson, Manning's mate of 16 years. Manning feels that her 
work, documentary and fiction has a common context: "the global, patriarchal, capitalist 
culture... ties us all together in spite of ourselves, and creates similar situations in vastly 
different circumstances... The attempt at self-realization of a woman in the slums of Sao 
Paolo (recounted in the documentary Brazilian Dreams) resonates with similar attempts of 
a middle-class woman in the U.S. (Prelude).'' 

Prelude, Manning's most recent work which is being premiered tonight, is a half hour 
dramatic narrative which marks the completion of her M.F.A. in San Francisco State 
University's Cinema Department. Aside from making her own films, Caitlin has worked 
and continues to work as a cinematographer and director of photography on numerous Bay 
Area film and video projects including documentaries, experimental shorts, and feature 
length films. 

When The Bough Breaks (1989); 16mm, color, sound, 2 minutes 

My first 16mm film. When the Bough Breaks comes from a recurring dream. Many 
women who see this piece have recounted similar dreams they have had, so I think the film 
taps into a kind of archetypal female experience. (CM) 

...Threej Four, Shut the Door (1991); 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 
In a sequence reminiscent of Maya Deren's films, a woman encounters herself in many 
forms, and in each situation she is performing a role. Each role uncovers a different aspect 
of anxiety for approval which stretches from intimate, romantic expectations of a potential 
lover to those of an adoring audience. In putting the same woman in a range of stereotyped 
female positions. Manning makes us aware not only of the flexibility of the actress, but of 
the artifice involved in living each role. She describes this piece as "...a kind of trance film 
that reproduces psychological states (fear of exposure, fear of abandonment, need for love 
and admiration, sense of alienation, of being outside one's own body). In some way I 
think they represent almost archetypal female moments, which condense a whole 
psychological history." 

Prelude (1995); 16mm, color, sound, 30 minutes 

In Manning's most recent work she continues in the vein of investigating the internal paths 
of a woman's experience. Here she traces the conflicts and achievements of a woman 
attempting to actualize her creative potential, to solidify her individual identity in 
conjunction with her roles as a wife and mother. This conflict continues to create tension 
for many real-life women, and unlike a Hollywood ending, the first great creative 
achievement doesn't ensure one won't fall back into the same internal struggle, repeatedly. 
As in aspects of all of her work. Manning here addresses the need for women to act, to take 
responsibility for their happiness, for the possibilities for creative fulfillment. 



28 



Program Notes 1995 



Sonhos Brasileiros ('Brazilian Dreams'): Visiting Points of Resistance (1990); 
video, color, sound, 16 minute excerpt of a 54 minute piece 

When Manning and Carlsson pick up and go to Brazil with their camcorder, the resulting 
video gives us the sense that we are watching a strange hybrid between a documentary and 
a political home movie. They follow a path from the Camivale to the depths of the rain 
forest, interviewing the individuals who make up the grassroots of South American culture. 
These are the people who, as Manning puts it, present "exemplary, but 'ordinary' 
individuals on the social margins whose lives embody resistance to the global capitalist 
culture. Their stories expose the values and priorities of the killing culture we live in, and 
call for social transformation." 

Noah*s Ark... a Neompatista Delirium (1994); video, color, sound, 24 minutes 

In this mini -documentary we find ourselves suddenly in the heart of the jungle, at an 
unusual Mexican democratic convention. There are crowds everywhere, and a man wearing 
a ski mask is speaking to an enthusiastic audience. From this single eloquent speech, a 
U.S. audience gets a glimpse of the complex politics in our neighboring nation, which is in 
an upheaval with enough intrigue, adventure, human drama and suspense to rival any 
sensationalist news about murderous football stars. 

Stripped Bare (1988); video, color, sound, 30 minute version 

An exploration of the subculture of erotic dancing via five women who work as strippers in 
San Francisco. "Without mythologizing the sex industry after the manner of some 
postmodern hipsters or concealing its squalid ruthlessness, these testimonials challenge 
one's preconceived notions of its female workers as victims." 

—Andrew O'Hehir, S.F. Sentinel (June 17, 1988) 

please join the filmmaker for a small reception after the show 
• program notes by Maya Allison • 



STAN BRAKHAGE: SONGS PROGRAM 2 
SONG XII , FIFTEEN SONG TRAITS THROUGH SONG XXII 

Sunday, March 19, 1995, 6:00 PM 
Special Program — SF Art Institute 

The running times of all Songs are necessarily approximate as the works are created for the 
medium of 8mm and therefore projected, for the most part, by machines with variable 
motors. They are intended to cohere rhythmically at speeds ranging from 8 frames to 24 
frames per second. The approximate times indicated are based on an average speed midway 
between these two extremes. The running times listed in the catalogue for Songs 1-10 are 
perhaps more indicative of 12 frames per second than of 16 frames per second average 
given below, because at the time I submitted length approximates for the first ten Songs I 
was more interested, as viewer of my work in that slower speed.— Stan Brakhage, from 
Filmmakers' Cooperative Catalogue No. 4 

Song A'// (1965); 8mm, color, silent, 5 minutes 
Verticals and shadows — reflections caught in glass traps. 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 



Song XV : Fifteen Song TraUs{\965)\ 8mm, color, silent, 38 minutes 
A series of individual portraits of friends and family, all interrelated in what might be called 
a branch growing directly from the trunk of Songs I-XTV. In order of appearance: Robert 
Kelly, Jane and our dog Durin, our boys Bearthm £ind Rare, daughter Crystal, and the 
canary Cheep Donkey, Robert Creeley and Michael McClure, and the rest of our girls 
Myrrena & Neowyn, Angelo di Benedetto, Rare, Ed Dom and his family, Myrenna, 
Neowyn, and Jonas Mekas (to whom the whole of the XVth Song is dedicated), as well as 
some few strangers, were the source of these Traits coming into being— my thanks to 
all . . . and to all who see them clearly. 

Song XVI (1965); 8mm, color, silent, 8 minutes 

A love song, a flowering of sex as in the mind's eye, a joy. 

Songs XVII & XVIII ( 1965); 8mm, color, silent, 8 minutes 

Cathedral and movie house— the ritual memories of religion— and then (in Song XVIII ) a 
portrait of a singular room in the imagination. 

Songs XIX & ^A^ (1966); 8mm, color, silent, 8 minutes 

A dancing song of women's rites, and then (Song XX) the ritual of light making 
shape/shaping picture. 

Songs XXI & XXII (1965); 8mm, color, silent, 10 minutes 

Transformation of the singular image was the guiding aesthetic light in the making of these 
two works. Song XXI works its spell through closed eye vision, whereas Song XXII was 
inspired by approximates of "the dot plane" or "grain field" of closed-eye vision in textured 
"reality," so to speak. You could say that XXI arises out of an inner- and XXII into an 
outer-reality. These two works are particularly exciting to me because I at last accomplished 
something in the making of them that I had written hopefully to Maya Deren about years 
ago: films which could run forwards and backwards with equal/integral authenticity— that 
is that the run from end to beginning would hold to the central concern of the film. . .rather 
than simply being some wind and/or unwinding of beginning-to-ending's continuum. Song 
XXII, additionally, can be run from its mid-point— the singular sun-star shape on water— in 
either direction to beginning or ending. . .thus film inherits the possibilities Gabrieli gave to 
music with his piece "My beginning is my ending and my ending is my beginning." 

•Film descriptions by Stan Brakhage, Filmmakers' Cooperative Catalogue* 

"Hypnagogic vision is what you see with your eyes closed— at first a field of grainy, 
shifting, multi-coloured sands that gradually assume various shapes... It's also called 
closed-eye vision. Moving visual thinking, on the other hand, occurs much deeper in the 
synapsing of the brain. It's a streaming of shapes that are not namable— a vast visual 
'song' of the cells expressing their internal life." 

—Stan Brakhage, "All that is Light Brakhage at 60," interview by Suranjan Ganguly, 

Sight and Sound (October 1993), 21 

Stan Brakhage was bom in Kansas City, Missouri in 1933. His life journey crosses the 
country: from the outskirts of San Francisco's Beat Generation to New York's 
underground art scene, to the mountains of Boulder, Colorado. In 1958 he married Jane 
Collum. Their lives, love and the childhoods of their five children became the principal 
elements of Brakhage's films. During the years 1969 to 1981 Brakhage taught film histor>' 
and aesthetics at the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 1981 he has been teaching film at the 



30 



rj# Program Notes 1995 

University of Boulder. Brakhage now lives in Boulder with his second wife Marilyn and 
their two children. 

"... the so called mundane, which people use as a word of contempt when they really mean 
'earth'. What they don't see is the potential for glory, for envisionment that's inherent in 
even doing the dishes, in the soap suds. . .All they have to do is close their eyes and look." 

—Stan Brakhage, Sight & Sound (1993) 

At age 19 Brakhage made his first film Interim (1952). At age 62 Brakhage continues to 
add films to his extensive oeuvre of nearly 250 films. The films of Stan Brakhage are 
diverse: psychodrama, trance films, autobiographical films, birth films, cosmological 
epics, "song" cycles inspired by lyric poetry, and most recently, hand-painted films. 
Equally expansive is Brakhage's use of the cinematic medium: 8mm to 65mm Imax, 
standard chemical processing to unphotographed films — Mothlight (1963) was made by 
pasting flower petals and moth wings on film stock. In 1989 Brakhage, the first filmmaker 
thus honored, received the MacDowell Medal. This prestigious award is given annually to a 
writer, composer or visual artist who has made an "outstanding contribution to the nation's 
culture." In 1992 the U.S. Library of Congress selected Dog Star Man (1962-64) for 
inclusion in the National Film Registry. 

"If you're writing a poem every single word counts. With filmmaking every l-48th of a 
second counts." 

—Stan Brakhage quoted in Manchester Union Leader, 
New Hampshire (August 21, 1989) 

• program notes by C Whiteside • , i ' 



TEENAGE TRASH BASH! 
LINDA BLAIR AND BEYOND 

Sunday, March 19,1995 — SF Art Institute 

Tonight's program begins with a selection of extremely rare educational films made for 
teenagers in the 1970's, highlighted by In a Quiet Place, a short made for the church 
market starring David Cassidy. After a short intermission we'll roll into Born Innocent, the 
feature-length film starring Linda Blair. We hope you enjoy the show! 

Getting Closer (1975) ;l6mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

"Greg, shy and self-conscious, wants to take Laura to the Autumn Daze dance at school, 
but he can't bring himself to ask her. His friend Louie, an outgoing self-styled "lover", 
doesn't help matters by kidding Greg. He finally makes up his mind to go to the dance. As 
he starts toward Laura to ask her to dance, Louie whisks her away to the floor. Greg is left 
alone amid the dancers, embarrassed and disappointed. This program is intended to help 
young people understand feelings of anxiety and concern about interacting with persons of 
the other sex and to stimulate learning experiences that will help them cope successfully 
with those feelings" 

Decision: Alcohol (c. 197?); 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

"This is the story of a high school student who is seriously injured in a car accident caused 
by a drunk driver. Whether to drink or not to drink is left up to the viewing audience" 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

Remember Eden (1971); 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

"Expresses the deep moral values of the interpersonal relationship between a man and a 
woman. Against the moods and colors of the changing seasons, young adults express a 
variety of viewpoints related to the man-woman relationship. Their stream of 
consciousness explores values which range from exploitation and conquest, to a 
meaningful relationship of life-long love and fidelity" 

Janie (1977); 16mm, color, sound, 2 minutes 
A teenage girl at a party is entranced by a beer can. 

In a Quiet Place (1971); 16mm, color, sound, 30 minutes 

"Gene's teenage pals needle him into making a play for Mary Ann. To them, sex is a game, 
and they talk big. Later, struggling with his guilt, he confesses to his father who then 
offers his son Christian guidelines for living and discusses with him the beauty of sex - but 
only within marriage" Starring David Cassidy. 

Girls Beware (c.l97?); 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

The safety of young girls is presented with several short vignettes, ranging in tone from 
kind of creepy to truly terrifying. 

-intermission- 
Born Innocent {\91 5), by Donald Wrye; 16mm, color, sound, 99 minutes 

With Linda Blair, Joanna Miles. 
When I was 9 years old, I was completely obsessed with actress Linda Blair. Consumed 
with the release of the film The Exorcist, I kept an ExorcistlBXdiw scrapbook, stuffed full 
with clippings from bad 70's movie magazines and Blair puff pieces from Tiger Beat. My 
obsession with The Exorcist got so heavy it began extending into darker realms, I truly 
wanted to be possessed. I scoured vanity press 'occult' paperbacks looking for rituals to 
raise the Devil. It never worked. I wasn't allowed to actually see the film until a year after it 
came out and then I had nightmares for 4 months. 

Linda Blair's first release after The Exorcist, Born Innocent was made for television and 
broadcast in 1974. Marketed enthusiastically toward very young viewers, the barrage of 
previews promised a steamy, harsh teenage-girls-in-prison shocker and didn't disappoint. 
Then Born Innocent caused a sadly now familiar controversy, though I don't remember 
hearing about until long after the fact. In a depressing tragedy, three pre-teen girls allegedly 
acted out a rape scene depicted in Born Innocent on a 9 year old girl, on Baker Beach in 
San Francisco. The girl's mother sued NBC and SF affiliate KRON for 1 1 million but the 
suit was eventually thrown out of court... Blair's next release was another made-for-tv 
epic, the unforgettable (though not as sleazy) Sarah T: Portrait of Teenage Alcoholic. In 
this one, Blair played a teen lush, drinking constantly, staggering around high school, 
singing a Carly Simon song and riding a horse onto the freeway. It must have made a big 
impression on me, as I later had to overcome my own raging problem with alcohol. 

Blair went on to make a million pretty forgettable films, and she continues to do the same to 
this day. Unsurprisingly, she's had a bizarre, scandal -ridden career; several coke busts. 
Chained Heat, a tawdry, strange relationship with 80's funkster Rick James 
CSupeiireak"), the miserable Exorcist satire Repossessed... Recently she's been sighted as 
a "special guest celebrity" on the Halloween 'Haunted House' circuit, kind of like the guy 
with 3 arms and the screaming fat lady. 



32 



Program Notes 1995 

21 years later, here's the dusty and dated Born Innocent again, perhaps for the last time. 
Blair and I continue to collide in mysterious ways-my sister waited on her in a restaurant a 
few years ago I know there's a Linda Blair cult out there, waiting patiently, like me, for her 
inevitable, perfect shining comeback. 

Tonight's program was co-curated and co-presented by San Francisco Cinematheque 
and David Naylor of Alpha Blue Archives. 

•program notes by Joel Shepard • 



CANYON CINEMA N I G H T S : M E C H A N I X OF NATURE 

CURATED BY DIANE KITCHEN 

Thursday, March 23, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Tonight's show is the second in our series of guest-curated programs selected from 
Canyon Cinema, the Bay Area's premiere distributor of alternative film. Diane Kitchen 
managed Canyon Cinema during a turbulent period in the late 1970s and helped guide and 
stabilize it into its position as a important artists' organization. A maker of experimental 
films and lyrical, ethnographic documentaries. Kitchen has screened several of her 
works— including Basic Elements, Before We Knew Nothing, and Roots, Thorns— dX the 
San Francisco Cinematheque. Kitchen is now on the faculty at University of Wisconsin at 
Milwaukee. She has selected eight films from Canyon's catalogue— favorites, unknowns 
and a wild card— which draw their images from natural settings. 

Six Windows ( 1979), by Maijorie Keller; 16mm, color, silent, 7 minutes *^ 

A pan and a dissolve make a window of a wall on film. A portrait of the filmmaker in a 
luminous space, synthetically rendered via positive and negative overlays. (MK) 

Windowm,obile (1977), by James Broughton and Joel Singer; 
16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes 

The film is shot both through and at a window, superimposing and conjoining, thereby 
elaborating events on both sides of the glass. Broughton's accompanying poem sings the 
same song as the images, sounding from an Eden of the golden passing of days: "They 
were seeing the light every day then.../ They were looking and they were seeing/ They 
were living there in the light at that time." —Robert Lipman 

Fuji (1974), by Robert Breer; 16mm, color, sound, 8.5 minutes 

"The classic outline of Mount Fuji, filmed by Breer from a train, then rotoscoped, becomes 
involved in an extended speculation on the boundaries between representation and 
abstraction. Is it a mountain, or just another of Breer's geometric obsessions?" 

—David Curtis 
Seven Days (1974), by Chris Welsby; 16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes 

The location of this film is by a small stream on the northern slopes of Mount Camingly in 
south-west Wales. The seven days were shot consecutively and appear in that same order. 
Each day starts at the time of local sunrise and ends at the time of local sunset. One frame 
was taken every ten seconds throughout the film. The camera was mounted on an 
Equatorial Stand which is a piece of equipment used by astronomers to track the stars. In 
order to remain stationary in relation to the star field the mounting is aligned with the 
Earth's axis and rotates about its own axis approximately once every 24 hours. A rifle 



33 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

microphone was used to sample sound every two hours. These samples were later cut to 
correspond, both in space and time, to the image on the screen. (CW) 

The Red Mile (1973), by Le Ann Bartok; 16mm, color, sound, 9.5 minutes 

Documentary of conceptual artist Le Ann Bartok Wilchusky's "Skyworks, The Red Mile," 
dropped from 7,500 ft altitude with skydivers, kinetically danced over the Pennsylvania 
countryside. This "Dropped Object" unrolled in free fall creating a line one mile long which 
altered the sky space dramatically. Shorter red pieces, held by the skydivers in free fall, 
spiral in and out as the skydiver as performer is held in G force. A visual symphony of 
falling lines. (LAB) 

Fog Line {1910), by Larry Gottheim; 16mm, color, silent, 1 1 minutes 

Fog Line is a wonderful piece of conceptual art, a stroke along the careful line between wit 
and wisdom. On a certain objective level it is a film made from one 400 foot magazine 
exposed from a fixed position as the fog lifts in a valley. But, of course, it is impossible to 
equate that "objective" description with the film. For the result is a melody in which literally 
every frame is different from every preceding frame (since the fog is always lifting) and the 
various elements of the composition— trees, animals, vegetation, sky, and, quite 
importantly, the emulsion, the grain of the film itself— continue to play off one another as 
do notes in a musical composition. The quality of the light— the tonality of the image 
itself— adds immeasurably to the mystery and excitement as the work unfolds, the fog 
lifting, the film running through the gate, the composition static yet the frame itself fluid, 
dynamic, magnificently kinetic. — Raymond Foery 

Still Life {197 5), by Bette Gordon; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

A meditation on the American rustic. Various objects within the composition are re- 
presented in unnatural colors and unusual spatial arrangements, emphasizing the illusion of 
movement while exploring film grain and graphic nature. The image of foreground and 
background becomes reversed, and through that process we lose sight of three-dimensional 
space representation. (BG) 

Time and Places (1982), by Art Zipperer; 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes 
In an evocative, personal journey, images of the phenomenal world are woven with those 
gathered during the Vietnam War as the former triggers the latter. For many, there is a 
singular event or experience where one crosses the point of no return and the world is 
never quite the same. This film shares such an experience. (AZ) 

• program notes by Rick Danielson • 



STAN BRAKHAGE: SONGS PROGRAM 3 
SONG xxra (23rd Psalm Branch Part l & 2) 

Sunday, March 26, 1995, 6:00 PM 
Special Program — SF Art Institute 

Song XXIII: 23rd Psalm Branch {\966-61)\ 8mm, color, silent, circa 100 minutes 

''Song, my song, raise grief to music'' 
— Louis Zukofsky, "A" 



34 



Program Notes 1995 

"The mood throughout is alternately Invocation and Exorcism. The film has a strict, and as 
I see it, musical form. Only by the broadest possible stretch of definition can this 23rd 
Psalm be called a 'song'— but it assuredly can be likened to a symphony, or better still, an 
extended rhapsodic tone poem of epic proportions." 

—Jerome Hill, ''23rd Psalm Branch(Song, XXIII): A Film by Stan Brakhage," 

Film Culture 46 (Autumn 1967), 14. 

Parti 

"A study of war, created in the imagination in the wake of newsreel death and destruction." 

"...We had moved around a lot and we had settled down enough... so we got a TV. And 
that was something in the house that I could simply not photograph, simply could not deal 
with visually. It was pouring forth war guilt, primairily, into the household in a way that I 
wanted to relate to, if I was guilty, but I had feelings. . .of the qualities of guilt and I wanted 
to have it real for me and I wanted to deal with it" 

"And I mean, it was happening on all the programs— on the ads as well as the drama and 
even in the comedies, and of course the news programs. And I had to deal with that. It 
finally became such a crisis that I knew I couldn't deal directly with TV but perhaps I could 
make or find out why war was all that unreal to me. . . " 

— Stan Brakhage, Filmmakers' Cooperative Catalogue 

"Images of a Colorado landscape are juxtaposed with views from Nazi Germany. "Take 
back Beethoven's 9th, then he said," is scratched on film stock. Images of a man blowing 
up a hill and Colorado landscape are juxtaposed with black-and-white leader. Shots of Jane 
are intercut with camera movement over a letter to Jane. Juxtaposed images of Nagasaki 
and New York are followed by a poem by Louis Zukofsky, visions of war from classical 
antiquity, and Brakhage near a poster of [a] gun pointed at the audience. After Zukofsky's 
face is juxtaposed with scenes from a concentration camp, he and his wife are seen in the 
present. "I can't go on," is written on the stock, interrupting images of war. Black leader. 
After a recapitulation of images, the camera follows Brakhage's hand as it writes: 'I must 
stop! the War is as these thoughts (IDEAS, IMAGES), patterns... (RHYTHM) are — as 
endless as. . . precise as eye's hell is ! '" 

— Synopsis by Gerald R. Barrett and Wendy Brabner, 
Stan Brakhage: A Guide to References and Resources ( 1983), 110-111. 

Part II 

"A searching into the 'sources' of Part I." 

—Stan Brakhage 

"Peter Kubelka's Vienna" is the title of the initial section of 'Part II to Source.' Scenes of 
modem Vienna are intercut with shots of filmmaker Kubelka playing the recorder. "My 
Vienna" juxtaposes views of Brakhage seated at a table with shots of activities back home. 
Walkers in Vienna are intercut with marching soldiers, as are art objects and prisoners in 
concentration camps. "A Tribute to Freud" features images of his home, while "Nietzsche's 
Lamb" combines a skinned lamb over high angle views of the city; "East Berlin" combines 
lights, a city street at night, and patterns of dots. In the 'coda,' a woman playing a harp in 
the woods is doubled-exposed with a man repairing an instrument; children hold sputtering 
fireworks. 

—Synopsis by Gerald R. Barrett £ind Wendy Brabner. 

"The 'coda' begins with a complete rupture from the images and techniques of the rest of 
the film and ends with a disquieting metaphor for the undefeatable impulse to war within 
the human spirit.... Thus this film which has made an equation among parades, victory 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

celebrations, street fights, and rallies, culminates in a cyclic vision and a discovery of the 
seeds of war in the pastoral vision." 

— P. Adams Sitney, Visionary Film (1974), 216. 

"Brakhage brings the war home into the most literal sense imaginable, forging a geography 
of feeling that assigns every reference in this film a crystalline relation to the patterns, as he 
sees them, of the making and experiencing of war. As a disease that has entered the blood 
stream and is already a dynamic that one suffers, Brakhage's view of war "as a natural 
disease" finds resonance in a myriad of instances where through collective tools of 
montage, paint, and, in several instances, insertions of language..." 

— Gail Camhi, "Notes on Brakhage 's 23rd Psalm Branch," 

Film Culture 67-68-69 (1979), 97. 

"...one must assume that only very special pressure could have forced him to insert words 
into his 'war film,' 23rd Psalm Branch [speaks in handwriting and in print; in ink on 
paper, in scratched emulsion and in engraved letters on a book cover; in a television news 
graphic and a fragment of Latin manuscript; in words from Thomas Mann, Louis 
Zukofsky, and Charles Olsen; and in the filmmaker's own words in a letter to his wife and 
diarylike notes to himself]... Brakhage's venture into the visual dimension of verbal texts 
was forced upon him by a personal and aesthetic crisis produced by public, political events. 
In the heat of his engagement with images of war, Brakhage had to give words to his film. 
He let them say things that the purely visual images could not say because as iconic 
representations, they were inseparable from the "thought/patterns" that the film was 
intended to be about; whereas words, as arbitrary verbal constructs, could communicate at 
a more abstract level where they could escape 'eye's hell.'" 

—William C. Wees, "Words and Images in Stan Brakhage's 23rd Psalm Branch,'' 

Cinema Journal (Winter 1988), 40-48. 

• program notes by C Whiteside • 



FILMS BY JEAN ROUGH: 
Les maItres fous + Chronicle of a Summer 

Sunday, March 26, 1995, 8 p.m. — SF Art Institute 

"The truth will not give its lifeto dead wood. "— Songhay proverb 
"Not to film life as it is, but life as it is provoked. "—Jean Rouch, 1963 interview 

Ethnographic film, cin6-trance, cin^ma-vdritd, participatory cinema, ethno- fiction, truant 
ethnology, contraband cinema— such are some of the labels that have been applied to the 
various films of Jean Rouch. In the words of Jean-Andr^ Fieschi (in Eaton, 1979), "What 
is exploded by Rouch's work (with the result that, rather as Boulez said of music after 
Debussy, the entire cinema now 'breathes' differently) is the whole system of statutory 
oppositions whereby starting from the original Lumi^re-M^li^s axis, categories were 
conceived of as documentary /fiction; style/improvisation; natural/artificial; etc." 

At seventy seven and with over a hundred films to his credit (ranging from several minutes 
to several hours in length), Rouch continues to make films and to play an active role at the 
Mus^e de I'Homme and the Cinematheque Fran9aise in Paris. Only five of his films are 
distributed in North America. Tonight the Cinematheque presents two of these, probably 



36 



Program Notes 1995 



his best known in this country. Both Les maitres fous (1955) and Chronicle of a Summer 
(1961), while clearly anchored in the domain of documentary, are seminal works in 
Rouch's oeuvre and development. In them one can see the seeds of several subsequent 
films where the lines between fiction and documentary, the imaginary and the factual, the 
self and the potential selves, are increasingly blurred {Jaguar, Moi Un Noir), or where the 
anthropological gaze is mockingly turned around {Petit a Petit). 

Rouch began his career as an engineer, building and blowing up bridges in occupied 
France and then overseeing the construction of roads in the French Colonies in what is 
today Niger. It was there in his mid twenties that he first witnessed a Songhay possession 
ceremony and developed his lifelong interest in Songhay culture. After returning to France 
to fight in the war and study anthropology, Rouch went back to Africa on a nine month 
exploration of the Niger river with two friends and a Bell and Howell camera. During this 
trip he was asked by some Nigerien acquaintances to film a hippopotamus hunt. A silent 
version of this film premiered at an avant-garde club in Paris, and a few years later Rouch 
brought a subsequent version back to the village in Niger where he had filmed. The 
comments and criticisms of the Nigeriens led Rouch to change parts of the soundtrack and 
to be asked to make other films in collaboration with his Nigerien friends. Thus was bom 
the 'participatory cinema' which to a greater or lesser degree characterizes most of Rouch's 
film work. 

Rouch's fascination with trance (as in Les maitres fous and other ethnographic pieces), 
with truth revealed through provocation and interaction (as in Chronicle of a Summer and 
La Pyramide Humaine), with the complex and revealing collaborative inventions of self 
and reality {Jaguar, Moi Un Noir, Petit a Petit) implies a multifaceted notion of reality "in 
which the part played by the imaginary is no longer merely ornamental or subordinate, but 
genuinely basic" (Fieschi, in Eaton, 1979). In this sense, Rouch's love of and dedication lo 
thecinema— another imaginary— is not at all surprising. "For me, as an ethnographer and 
filmmaker, there is almost no boundary between documentary film and films of fiction. The 
cinema, the art of the double, is already a transition from the real world to the imaginary 
world, and ethnography, the science of the thought systems of others, is a permanent 
crossing point from one conceptual universe to another; acrobatic gymnastics where losing 
one's footing is the least of the risks." 

—Rouch, 1989 interview, quoted in StoUer, 1992 



Les maitres fous (The Crazy Masters; Mad Masters; Master Madmen) {1955)', 
16mm, color, sound, 36 minutes 

Les maitres fous is Rouch's most controversial film. It has been accused of reinforcing 
racist myths and perpetuating a pernicious exoticism. In a discussion with Rouch, 
Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene said of Rouch's purely ethnographic films, 
including L^5 maitres fous, "...you dwell on reality without showing its evolution... you 
observe us like insects" (Stoller, 1992). Others have lauded the film for challenging 
viewers to confront their own ethnocentrism, their repressed racism, their latent 
primitivism. The unsettling images seek to transform the audience psychologically and 
politically without the imposition of any comforting or reductionist interpretative schema. 
In the words of Paul Stoller (1992), "The reason Les maitres fous is one of Rouch's 
masterworks is that it ingeniously brings together the complex themes of colonization, 
decolonization, and the ontology of trance, in thirty-three minutes of extraordinary cinema. 
In a direct manner, Rouch thrusts the 'horrific comedy' of Songhay possession up)on his 
viewers, challenging them to come to grips with what they are seeing on the screen... Les 



37 



San Francisco Cinematheque 



mattres fous, like Rouch's Songhay ethnographies and some of his other films [...] 
documents the existence of the incredible, the unthinkable. These unexplicated scenes 
challenge us to decolonize our thinking, to decolonize ourselves." Due to the controversy 
surrounding the film, Rouch decided to limit its distribution.. 

"This film, crucial to the development of Rouch's work and later ethnographic film 
practice, concerns the annual ceremonies of the Hauka cult which started in the late '20s in 
the Upper Niger region. Persecuted by the French colonial administration and denounced 
by orthodox Islam, many of its practitioners moved to Ghana in the thirties, working as 
migrant labourers throughout the Gold Coast region. The Hauka are *the new Gods', 
spirits of power and of the winds. During the ceremonies the initiates become possessed by 
these powerful spirits which take the form of figures of authority in the Western colonial 
administration (the Governor-General, the Admiral, etc.). In a state of trance the 
possessed take on these roles and act like the white figures of authority. [...] The film is a 
record of a Hauka ceremony during which the participants become possessed, a dog is 
ritually sacrificed and eaten. The film also includes footage of the Western figures whose 
power the Hauka spirits personify. The thesis of the film advanced by Rouch in the 
commentary is that the ritual plays a therapeutic role in the lives of the marginalised and 
oppressed people, allowing them to accommodate to the psychological disjunctions caused 
by colonialism. At the end of the film we are shown the Hauka priests back at work on the 
roads or in the markets of Accra. The commentary is an attempt to provide an 
anthropological explanation/rationale for the 'bizarre' or 'exotic' nature of much of the 
footage, shifting the terms of emphasis so that it is the colonial administration which 
emerges as bizarre and irrational. 

"Rouch was asked to make the film after he and his wife, Jane, had given a lecture at the 
British Council in Accra. In the audience there were several Hauka priests and initiates, 
many of whom originally came from the area of Upper Niger where the shorts shown by 
Rouch at that lecture had been filmed. He was approached by them and asked to make a 
film of their annual ceremony. The priests wanted a film not only a s a record of the 
ceremony but also so that it could be used in the ritual itself. Whilst in Accra, Rouch 
attended many of the smaller Hauka ceremonies and was cabled by the priests on 15 
August, 1954, in Togo, where he was traveling, to return as the big ceremony was about to 
be held. 

"The film was shot on a hand-cranked 16mm Bell and Howell camera which allowed for 
25 sec. shots, but it was edited in the camera as much as possible and the eventual shooting 
ration was only about 8-10. The sound was recorded by Damourd Zika, one of the first 
Africans Rouch had got to know well on his first trip during the war, using a Scubitophone 
which is a portable though heavy tape-recorder with a clockwork motor that had to be 
wound up between takes. 

"When shown in Paris, the film was widely criticised. Black students in the audience 
accused Rouch of reinforcing stereotypes of 'savagery', and the film was banned 
throughout Britain's African colonies because of its 'inflammatory' content. Jean Genet's 
play The Blacks— in which colonised people acted out the roles of the colonisers was 
heavily influenced by it and Peter Brook used it as a model for his actors during the 
rehearsals o( Marat/ Sade. Rouch has always defended the film, not only on the basis of its 
ethnographic veracity and his commitment to the use of film in 'describing' a ceremony 
(where there are ,many simultaneous events which are impossible to convey adequately 
through the medium of print) but also, and more significantly, in relation to his later film 
practice, because the content of the film is concerned specifically with the intermingling of 
cultures and the effects— particularly the psychological effects— of colonialism. Unlike the 



38 



Program Notes 1995 



vast majority of ethnographic films, including Rouch's early shorts, Les maitres fous does 
not construct African culture as somehow occupying a sphere discrete in itself and 
unaffected by Western contact." 

—Mick Eaton, "Chronicle", in M. Eaton, Ed. (1979), 

Chronique d*un ete (Chronicle of a summer ){196\), in collaboration with Edgar Morin; 
16mm, b/w, sound, 90 minutes 

"Rouch was approached by the sociologist Edgar Morin to make a film about Paris. Morin 
had long been interested in the cinema (he wrote Le Cinema, ou I'homme imaginaire and 
Les Stars) and had praised Rouch's work in an article Pour un nouveau cinema-verite in 
France Ovservateur, 14 January, 1960. Morin had been a member of the resistance during 
the war and was expelled from the Communist party in 1951 for his opposition to 
Stalinism. At this time he was also editor of the review Arguments. Morin's idea was to 
make a 'sociological fresco' (Rouch: 'je ne suis pas fresqueur.') about Paris in the summer 
of 1960, when it was thought that the Algerian war was going to end. Rouch was 
interested but admitted to knowing very little about what was happening in Paris at that 
time. . . [M]ost of the people involved in Chronique were Morin's friends, many of them 
member s of a leftist group, Socialisme ou Barbarie, who had left the French Communist 
Party after the events in Hungary. Rouch has since talked of the difficulties of working 
with a collaborator "Working with Morin was exciting during the planning, but annoying 
during the shooting.' Rouch and Morin were given an entirely free hand by the producer 
and worked with the participants over several months without interference. The film was 
subtitled 'une experience de cinema-verite ' (apparently in hommage to Dziga Vertov...) 
and whilst it was in no sense a 'psycho-drama' like La Pyramide Humaine, the founding 
ideas were very similar: the camera was to act as a 'catalyst', and 'accelerator' making 
people reveal themselves. However, it is worth mentioning that Rouch found the French 
much more camera shy than the Africans he had been filming for so many years. 

"In many respects the importance of his film lies in the way it was made and the 
technological innovations that accompanied it. Shooting started with the standard Arriflex, 
which although reasonable light at 10 kgs, was noisy. Rouch's French camera man was 
not prepared to walk with it in the street sequences. [...] Rouch was in contact with Andre 
Coutant, who worked at the Eclair factory, and who [...] introduced him to a new camera 
which was being developed for use in a space satellite for purposed of military 
surveillance. This camera was light (6 kgs), dependable, and virtually silent, but it had only 
a magazine of 3 minutes worth of film. Coutant worked on the camera as the film 
progressed in an attempt to extend the capacity of the magazine[...]This camera was the 
prototype of the KMT Coutant-Mathot Eclair, the first light, silent portable 16 mm camera 
with sync-sound. [...] The development of the camera freed the crew to get out into the 
streets and move about holding the camera, and the new possibility of sync-sound had its 
effect on the film, making it much more a film 'about' people taking, rather than them 
acting out their lives in front of the camera. 

"[...]The film again raises the questions of what happens to 'ordinary people' after Rouch 
has given them the possibility of being, for a few short months, movie stars. Marceline 
(Loridan) married Joris Ivens and has worked throughout the world with him; Jean-Pierre 
(Sergent) made movies in Algeria and Colombia; Regis (Debray) went to Cuba to make a 
film about Che Guevara. He subsequently went to Colombia, where he was arrested and 
imprisoned for revolutionary activity; he is the author of 'Revolution in the Revolution ' and 
other books about revolution. Mary-Lou became a stills photographer who worked with 
Bertolucci and Godard. There were more problems with Angelo, the worker in the Renault 
plant. He was fired because of his involvement in the film and got work at the Billancourt 



39 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Studios where he was fired for his political activity. Morin pulled strings to get him a job at 
the publishing firm. Editions du Seuil, but when he tried to organise a union there too, 
there was a certain amount of embarrassment caused, so 'we gave him money to buy a 
small workshop in Levallois where he worked as a mechanic'. 

"There were 21 hours of rushes from which the finished film was edited. The immense 
difficulty of cutting led Rouch to consider making another film in Paris where the action 
would take place in a single day. Although the film was released around the world, and 
was well received critiailly, it was not a success commercially." 

—Mick Eaton, "Chronicle" 

• program notes by Irina Leimbacher • 



OPEN SCREENING 
HOSTED BY ERIN SAX & STEVE ANKER 

March 30, 1996 — Center for the Arts 

Mad Poets of Frisco, by Cine Lourdes; video, 10.5 minutes 

Chaos, Chaos, by Ralph Ackerman; video, 4 minutes 

/ am a Mechanic, by Dan Janos; S-8mm, 5.6 minutes 

gajol-gusal , by Judith Pfeifer; video, 5.5 minutes 

TV I, by Duane Ackerman, video, 7 minutes 

Second Persons, by Steve Packenham; video, 14.3 minutes 

Brothers & Sisters, by Terry Hatfield; video, 7 minutes 

Deep Peep & Love Controls Time, by Laura Klein; video, 10 minutes 

2.95 Untitled (m), by B. Frye, 16mm, 3 minutes 

Kilometer 123.5, by R. Mader; video, 12 minutes 



ERNIE GEHR: ADELINE KENT AWARD SCREENING 

ERNIE GEHR IN PERSON 

Sunday, April 2, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

"In representational films sometimes the image affirms its own presence as image, graphic 
entity, but most often it serves as vehicle to a photo-recorded event. Traditional and 
established avant-garde film teaches film to be an image, a representing. But film is a real 
thing and as a real thing it is not imitation. It does not reflect on life, it embodies the life of 
the mind. It is not a vehicle for ideas or portrayals of emotion outside of its own existence 
as emoted idea. Film is a variable intensity of light, an internal balance of time, a movement 
within a given space." 

— Ernie Gehr, January 1971 

Ernie Gehr began making films in the regular 8mm format in the 1960s and has worked 
steadily since then, completing more than 24 films. A self-taught artist, Gehr has 
established himself as one of the true masters of film form, and his graceful sense of style 
and subtle, poetic sensibility have deeply affected the cinematic avant-garde. His films have 



40 



Program Notes 1995 

established himself as one of the true masters of film form, and his graceful sense of style 
and subtle, poetic sensibility have deeply affected the cinematic avant-garde. His films have 
screened internationally, including retrospectives at the Museum of Modem Art in New 
York, The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Mus6e du Cinema in Brussels and at the 
San Francisco Cinematheque, and he has received awards and grants from numerous 
institutions, including the National Endowment for the Arts, a John Simon Guggenheim 
fellowship and the Maya Deren Award from the American Film Institute. Currently a 
faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute, Gehr has also taught and lectured at the 
University of California at Berkeley, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the 
Deutcher Akademischer Austauschdienstin Berlin. This screening is presented as a part of 
the 1995 Adeline Kent Award Exhibition, an award presented annually to a California 
artist. Ernie Gehr and Bruce Conner are the only two filmmakers to have received this 
prestigious award, which includes an honorarium and a solo exhibition in the San 
Francisco Art Institute's Walter/McBean Gallery. 

Untitled: Part One (1981); 16mm, color, sound, 30 minutes 

"The telephoto lens in Untitled: Part One (1981) provides an extraordinary sense of both 
observation and distance in perhaps Gehr's most subtle and moving city film. Whereas 
Gehr frequently records the more impersonal aspects of the city, here he focuses on the 
gestures and circulation of human figures. The magnification of the lens allows him lo 
register the intimate details of the texture of skin or the uncertain tread of an elderly foot, 
while remaining somewhat outside the scene. In documenting the streetside acts of 
exchange and encounter in a neighborhood dominated by recent immigrants (largely Jews 
from Russia), Gehr captures a history of circulation and exile written in the bodies of the 
city's inhabitants." 

—Tom Gunning, Perspective and Retrospective: The Films of Ernie Gehr 

Signal— Germany on the Air( 1982-85); 16mm, color, sound, 37 minutes 

"The artifice of the film image stands in stark contrast to the 'reality' of the scene— one is 
highly conscious of the frame outlines— of what's in and what's out. The color is almost 
always 'unreal'— some artifact of photographic depiction. The spaces and sounds between, 
behind, and above the image comes through, we fill out the scene. The mind permeates the 
space and we become highly aware of the processes used for this inspection. While 
watching you become aware of your own space, your own patterns of movement. 
Common ground and individual experience are the fX)les here, and the active mind shuttles 
between them in the duration. The recalcitrant world, once it is depicted and articulated, can 
be peeled back like an onion, revealing constituent layers. In Signal— Germany on the Air 
it is history that's in the air, behind the mask of every face, every facade, every street 
sign." 

—Daniel Eisenberg, "Some Notes on the Films of Ernie Gehr" 

"A long sequence at the end of Signal was shot in the rain. This is almost comforting. The 
subdued colors of an overcast day seem more appropriate than the bright, saturated colors 
of the storefronts earlier in the film. It seems for a while as though the rain can wash away 
all traces of the past. But, when a bright orange flare-out signals both the end of a camera 
roll and the end of the film, the steady hiss of the rain reveals itself as the end of a 
conflagration." 

— Harvey Nosowitz in Film Quarterly 

Rear Window (1986/91);16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

"Images were recorded in 1985/86 from the rear window of what used to be our apartment 

in Brooklyn. The death of my father and an earlier work of mine. Signal— Germany on the 



41 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

front of the camera lens and attempted to make tactile light, color and image. The work 
shifts from a play between the 'elements' to whipping up a 'storm' out of thin air." 

— Ernie Gehr, January 1993 

ERNIE GEHR FILMOGRAPHY 

Morning (1968); Wait (1968); Reverberation (1969); Transparency (1969); History 
(1970); Field (1970); Field (short version) (1970); Serene Velocity (1970); Three (1970); 
Still {\969-liy. Eureka (1974); Shift {1912-1 4)\ Behind the Scenes (1975); Table (1976); 
Untitled {\9riiy. Hotel (1979)] Mirage (1981); Part One (1981); Signal- Germany on the 
Air (1982-85); Listen (1986-91); Rear Window {\986-9iyjhis Side of Paradise (1991); 
Side/Walk/Shuttle (1991); Daniel Willi (work in progress) 

• program notes by Brian Frye* 



San Francisco Cinematheque 
Publications 



pinematQgraph Each (a) $12 individual $25 institution\ foreign 

Volume 1 (out of print) 

Volume 2 

Volume 3 (Guesl Editor: Christine lliniblyn) 

Volume 4 (Guesl Editor: Jeffrey Skollcr) 

Volume 5 (Guest Editor: Peter Herwitz) 

Volume 6 (Special Small Formal Film and Video Issue, to be published 1/96) 

Program Note Booklets Each @ $10 individual $20 institution\ foreign 

1984-1994 available 

The San Francisco Cinematheque Program Note Booklets contain the collected program notes 
that accompanied the Cinematheque's film and video exhibition of thai year. The notes include 
critical essays, historical background, and technical information about works ranging from lurn- 
of-the-cenlury films to the newest contemporary personal and experimental films and videotapes. 

Monographs 

Yvonne Rainer: Declaring Slakes 

The Films of Andy Warhol: A Seven-Week Introduction 

Films of Ernie Gehr 

Inciting Big Joy: James Broughlon al 80 

Austrian Avanl-Garde Cinema 1955-1993 

Bruce Baillic: Life and Work 



$5 domestic 


$8 foreign 


n $5 domestic 


S^foreign 


$12 domestic 


$ 1 5 foreign 


$5 domestic 


$8 foreign 


$7 domestic 


$10 foreign 


$5 domestic 


$8 foreign 



42 



Program Notes 1995 

NELSON & WILEY'S BEFORE NEED REDRESSED 
GUNVOR NELSON AND DOROTHY WILEY IN PERSON 

Thursday, April 13, 1995 - Center for the Arts 

This evening's program is the first time the Cinematheque has screened Gunvor Nelson's 
films since the fall of 1992, when a full retrospective entitled Gunvor Nelson: A life in film 
was organized on the occasion of her return to Sweden. After thirty-two years of living, 
teaching (at the San Francisco Art Institute) and working in the Bay area. Nelson returned 
to her native country. The retrospective was a way of saying goodbye to a wonderful 
filmmaker and teacher and we are very pleased to welcome her back. 

"For me, the intention is trying to dig deep and find those images, to find the essence of 
your feelings. I guess about a year ago it just struck me that the outside world for me, all 
things that are there, are symbols for what I feel. Trying to use film as a medium to express 
what's inside you, you have to use those symbols." 

—Film Quarterly, Fall 1971 interview with Gunvor Nelson 

The symbols Gunvor Nelson and Dorothy Wiley choose to express these interior states are 
as varied as the many writings about their films. Nelson and Wiley's work has been 
claimed as feminist while also being seen as formalist: working within the school of light 
and dark, shape, color, application, texture or line. Certainly these are all at issue in their 
work, but they are explored in such a complex manner and with such vivid emotion that the 
resulting cinema can equally be claimed as feminist, formalist and experimental. At 
screenings of Gunvor Nelson and Dorothy Wiley's work the audience's reaction, and the 
depth of response that is expressed is very striking. In one interview, when asked about the 
climate of her Swedish culture. Nelson said that she found it difficult to express some 
emotions and that perhaps these feelings came through her films. The films do speak to the 
viewer, whether through form, or content, or subject. This is truly a human cinema. 

Before Need Redressed (1994); 16mm, color, sound, 75 minutes 

We think a lot of the film is absurd. . .It is on the brink of being too serious and too stupid. 
It's complex. There are all these unexpected things. Things are multi -layered. That's our 
point of view. The beauty the woman sees in the different roles she's taken in her life and 
looking back on those states of being is both beautiful, pathetic and absurd. (GN) 

Light Years Expanding (1987)', 16mm, color, 25 minutes 
A collage film. Traversing stellar distances continues. "(GN) 

A further development of elements seen in Light Years (1987), Light Years Expanding 
extends the first film's themes and techniques. . . "All her recent films suggest that while the 
distance of time makes home further, the intensity of memory makes it richer. " 

—Parabola 

Dorothy Wiley was trained as a High School English teacher, and as a wife and mother 
she brings a practical love of film, and an attention to life's details to their work. Her first 
film was made with Gunvor Nelson out of their homes after Wiley's husband gave a half- 
hour lesson on how to use a camera. Ernest Callenbach of Film Quarterly wrote of 
Schmeerguntz (1965), "A society which hides its animal functions beneath a shiny public 
surface deserves to have such films as Schmeerguntz shown everywhere— in every PTA, 
every Rotary Club, every club in the land." The film won prizes at the Ann Arbor, Kent 
State University and Chicago Art Institute Film Festivals of 1966, was discussed in 



43 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

feminist contexts in the early seventies and is still widely seen. Wiley and Nelson made 
several other films together, and Wiley went on to do a series of short 8mm films best 
described as filmic prose poems, using domestic familiars (red cabbage, coffee grounds) as 
materials. When Wiley was asked why she turned to film, she talks of new creative 
frontiers, and reflects..."! find my interest in films peculiar because I'm not interested in 
machines, and there are an awful lot of machines involved in making films... But it was 
such a new medium. The possibilities that hadn't been explored were tremendous." 
(Independent Journal, 8-3-79). Wiley continues to work with film in these projects with 
Gunvor Nelson as well as experimenting with video, music and writing. 

Gunvor Nelson was trained as a painter, receiving a BA from Humboldt and an MFA. 
from Mills College. Coming from painting she brings a refined sensibility of color, an 
amazing sense of form, an exposing of texture, and the possibilities of the medium. 
Working frequently with an animation stand. Nelson paints directly on to moving or still 
images, allowing the viewer to watch the frenetic paintbrush and the creation of the image. 
Her films often experiment with light and dark, playing a sort of hide and seek with the 
viewer or with the dimensions of possibility. The title Frame Line (1983) evokes ideas of 
the frame, the space within the frame, the flatness of the screen, the image that comes out to 
the viewer (Russian perspective) or the image beyond the frame (Bazin's frame as window 
to the worid). Red Shift (\9S3), Time Being{\99l) and many others are fascinated with the 
body, flesh and blood (whether material or familial), age, youth, decay and beauty. For 
Nelson, the attraction to the medium of fil was "a combination of the visual— within that 
the use of color and black and white— with the timing, the dance, the motion, plus 
whatever else there is— the story, sound. It's so multi-media it's almost too 
overwhelming." (Independent Journal 8-3-79) 

DOROTHY WILEY FiLMOGRAPHY 

Schmeerguntz (1965), With Nelson; 15 Mm.;Fog Pumas (1967), With Nelson; 25 Min.; 
Five Artists Billbobbillbillbob{\91\), With Nelson; 70 Min.; Cabbage (1972); 9 Min.; 
Letters (1912); 11 Min.; The Weenie Worm Or The Fat Innkeeper{\912)\ 11 Min.; Zane 
Forbidden (1972); 10 Min.; M55 Jesus Fries On Grill (1973); 12 Min.; The Birth OfSeth 
Andrew Kinmont (1977); 27 Min.; Before Need (1979), With Nelson; 75 Min.; Before 
Need Redressed {1994), With Nelson; 75 Min. 

GUNVOR NELSON FiLMOGRAPHY 

Schmeerguntz (1965), With Wiley; 15 Min.; Fo^ Pumas (1967), With Wiley; 25 Min.; My 
Name Is Oona(l969); 10 Min.; Kirsa Nicholina{\910)\ 16 Min.; Five Artists 
Billbobbillbillbob (1971), With Wiley; 70 Min.; Muir Beach (1970); 5 Min.; One <& The 
Same (1973), With Freude; 4 Min.; Take Oft[\972)\ 10 Min. • Moons Pool (1973); 15 
Min.; Trollstenen (1976); 125 Min.; Before Need (1979), With Wiley; 75 Min.; Frame 
Line (1983); 22 Min.\ Red Shift (19^3); 50 Min.; Light Years (19^); 28 Min.; Light Years 
Expanding (1987); 25 Min.; Field Study #2 (1988); 8 Min.; Natural Features (1990); 28 
Min.; Time Being (1991); 8 Min.; Kristina's Harbor And Old Digs (1992); Part I, 50 
Min.- Part li, 20 M\n.\Before Need Redressed (1994), With Wiley; 75 Min. 

•program notes by E. Golembiewski« 



44 



Program Notes 1995 



SIMPLE BEAUTIES: 

THE ART AND LIFE OF BRUCE BAILLIE 

BRUCE BAILLIE IN PERSON 

Monday, April 17, 1995- SF Art Institute 

Thursday, April 20, 1995 - Center for the Arts 

Friday, April 21, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

7 was only ever interested in making openings, not closings. "— Bruce Baillie 

"In my filmmakers' pantheon, Bruce Baillie takes a shining place. His work I can see again 
and again. There is in Bruce Baillie something that remmds us of the wide country, of the 
spaces of America...! remember Baillie for certain images that keep reappearing in my 
mind. Curiously enough, those images have always to do with travel, with cross country 
rides, with wide spaces, with the huge American continent being crossed. . .In the images of 
his films, he seems to be very stable and very sure and always going after some definite, 
and probably always the same, image. With each film one feels maybe he found it. But no, 
the image of the dream is not yet caught, still somewhere else— so he makes another film, 
trying to come closer to it, from some other cingle." 

—Jonas Mekas, Movie Journal 

Canyon Cinema founder Bruce Baillie has remained true to his art, life and vision of 
community for over 30 years. A profoundly spiritual man, Baillie seeks beauty in simple, 
honest moments and truths behind calcified habits. The films he has made are cherished 
throughout the world for their sensual lyricism and social critique, and in the last several 
years he has expanded his artmaking to radio, video, and literature. The Cinematheque 
proudly presents a seek of Bruce Baillie events, his first public presentation in San 
Francisco since 1983, as a welcome antidote to this stuffy, fearful conservative time. Each 
evening Baillie will show films and videotapes (listed below), as well as play selections 
from his radio series Dr. Bish's Remedies and read from his fictional autobiography 
Memoirs of an Angel. 



Program 1: Monday, April 17, 1995— San Francisco Art Institute 

Mr. Hayashi (1961); 16mm, b/w, sound, 3 minutes 

"[Mr. Hayashi] was made as a newsreel advertisement to be shown at Baillie's film 
society. Canyon Cinema, in the second year of its existence. It shows a Japanese gardener, 
Mr. Hayashi, performing his daily tasks in a few black and white shots. The form is 
intentionally brief, minor, and occasional; although there is no metaphor or conflict of 
images, it reminds one of the aspiration first voiced by Maya Deren and later echoed by 
Brakhage to create a cinematic haiku." 

— P. Adams Sitney, Montreux Exhibition Catalog, 1974 

To Parsifal (1963); 16mm, color, sound, 16 minutes 

"You're given a certain responsibility and a gift or grace, a certain unique capability, which 
can turn against you if it's not attended to properly. Even the king who possessed this 
emblem of purity or perfection, this divine weapon, was heir to temptation, and the weapon 
fell into the hands of his nemesis. The wound was ultimately mortal. Though he was still 
alive, still functioning, he was incapable of carrying on this essential divine mission to 
celebrate Universal Truth, embodied in the Holy Grail, so it was foretold that there would 



45 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

be a successor who would come along, a "pure fool" as Wagner called him — whether the 
original name was Parsifal or Percivil, it really meant "pure fool." ...Parsifal was object 
and subject all at once, an objectified depiction and a reflection of my subjective pursuit of 
an identity, my recognition of myself. To try to make my own films against enormous 
resistance was perhaps Parsifal -ian: to be out there in the woods and on the ocean with a 
movie camera, unemployed, not doing the usual things— marrying, making children, 
setting up the pension plan, carrying the mail." 

— Bruce Baillie, interview with Scott McDonald in A Critical Cinema 2 

Mass For the Dakota Sioux (1963-4); 16mm, b/w, sound, 24 minutes 

"A film Mass, dedicated to that which is vigorous, intelligent, lovely, the-best-in-man; that 

which work suggests is nearly dead. 

"Synopsis: The film begins with a short introduction— 'No chance for me to live. Mother, 
you might as well mourn.' Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Sioux Chief. Applause for a lone figure 
dying on the street. INTROIT. A long, lightly exposed section composed in the camera. 
KYRIE. A motorcyclist crossing the San Francisco Bay Bridge accompanied by the sound 
of the Gregorian Chant, recorded at the Trappist Monastery in Vina, California. The 
sounds of the 'mass' rise and fall throughout. GLORIA. The sound of a siren and a short 
sequence of a '33 Cadillac proceeding over the Bay Bridge and disappearing into a tunnel. 
The final section of the Communion begins with the OhhtRTORY in a procession of lights 
and figures to the second chant. The anonymous figure from the introduction is discovered 
again, dead on the pavement. The body is consecrated and taken away past an indifferent, 
isolated people, accompsuiied by the final chant. The Mass is traditionally a celebration of 
life; thus the contradiction between the form of the Mass and the theme of death. The 
dedication is to the religious people who were destroyed by the civilization which evolved 
the Mass." 

— Bruce Baillie, Filmmaker's Cooperative Catalog # 7 

All My Life (1966); 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

"...it was the quality of the light for three summer days in Casper, California, up the coast 
where Tulley lived. It looked like Cork, Ireland used to.... It was inspired by the light 
(every day is unique as you know), and by the early Teddy Wilson/Ella Fitzgerald 
recording, which was always playing in TuUey's little cabin, with its condemnation sign on 
it." 

— Bruce Baillie, interview with Scott McDonald in A Critical Cinema 2 

Castro Street ( 1966); 16mm, color and b/w, sound, 10 minutes 

"1 liked the assignment in form that I gave myself. To use a street as a basic form rather 
than a narrative or any kind of storyline. And so I really did start the film out at the 
beginning of the street, and ended it on the red barn at the end. Then, in terms of 
discovering an idea, it came right in the middle of a severe period of my life, where I felt I 
was being bom actually. Or becoming conscious is the way I put it at the time. And the 
whole film is the shape of being bom or becoming conscious." 

— Bmce Baillie, in Film Culture, 1969 

Valentin de las Sierras (196S); 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

"One of Baillie's very greatest works. The location: a Mexican village. Baillie's description: 
'Skin, eyes, knees, horses, hair, sun earth.' The camera concentrates on individual details, 
but there are none of the abstracting techniques of Castro Street. The images are hard and 
clear, the cuts sharp and abmpl in both image and sound. More strongly than in any other 



46 



Program Notes 1995 

Baillie film, this work puts the viewer in a state which is very difficult to explain or account 
for in terms of the specifics of the film." 

—Fred Camper, Audio-Brandon Catalog, 1978-79 

"...it doesn't look at all like an Avant-Garde, Experimental, or even Art movie. [...] it does 
speak, to me at least, from the beginning in the language of film without feeling the need to 
speak for itself as film, if you know what I mean, and it exists very simply on many 
different levels of meaning." 

—Stan Brakhage, Cinema News #78, 3 & 4 

The P-38 Pilot ( 1990) ; video, color, sound, 15 minutes i 

"For the dispossessed, the excluded, the condemned. . .exiled by our own preferences . " 

A work from the darkness of winter, a kind of pre-Paradiso which parallels by chance, '< 
Dante's Purgatorio— my own confessions and clues to ascent, life and Light. 

Abstract imagery from my home, winter rain, WW II paraphernalia, etc., along with an 
audio monologue recorded years ago and carried back and forth across the country, living 
out of my VW. Made with simple home equipment no budget, 6 - 7 months time and toil. 

As all art is made from some particular sort of sticks and stones, this piece happens to be 
formed from the words of a war hero who suffers his own particular "habitante", as this P- 
38 pilot would have it. The (film) is not, however a documentary about— in this case- 
alcoholism. 

Note from the conclusion: "Te lucis ante terminum" (Thy Light before the end— or, before 
the darkness), taken from the traditional Compline service at the end of the day, sung by 
Christian religious through the centuries. The image of beloved (my family) at the very end 
of the work is the final, perhaps essential clue, given also of course by Dante Alighieri in 
his 14th century classic, by way of Beatrice: i.e., the way beyond inevitable suffering, 
transcending individual intellect, is only through (pure) love and loving. (BB) 

"A cohesive Baillie song of sound and sight, a flowing visual essay. Bruce has made the 
transition from the film to the video format without compromising the beauty of the 
image..." 

—Kathleen Connor 



Program 2: Thursday, April 20, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Still Life (1966); 16mm, color, sound, 2 minutes 

"Summer, 1966; coming out of the artist's period of life at Graton— a communal venture in 
the woods north of San Francisco. A film on efforts toward new American religion." 

—Bruce Baillie, Filmmaker's Cooperative Catalog # 7 

rung (1966); 16mm, color and b/w, silent, 5 minutes 

"Portrait of a friend named Tung, deriving directly from a momentary image on waking. 
Seeing her bright shadow I thought she was someone I you we had known." 

—Bruce Baillie, Filmmaker's Cooperative Catalog # 7 

Quixote (1964-1965); 16mm, color and b/w, sound, 45 minutes 



47 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Quixote is a kind of summary and conclusion of a number of themes, etc., especially that 
of the hero ...depicting Western orientation as essentially one of conquest. The film is 
conceived in a number of different styles and on a number of simultaneous levels. (BB) 

"In Quixote Baillie uses the techniques of underground film to explore the inflections of a 
personal vision with a subtlety and precision equaled only by the work of his film 
correspondent, Stan Brakhage, but his explicitly political inflection of those techniques was 
radically innovative. His orchestration of a film vocabulary in which sensuous attention to 
minute local textures is combined with an overall rhythmic sweep, and his use of this 
method to register the world of public affairs, is on the one hand testament to the flexibility 
and resourcefulness of that underground cinema, its providing the individual with access to 
the arena of social commentary. It also marks, on the other hand, a limit noticeable initially 
in the very virtues of the 'poetic' method, for the obverse of its subtlety and indirection is 
its inability to speak explicitly about the role of Hollywood, of Wall Street, of Vietnam 
...The significance of Baillie's style is thus double: it is a means of marshaling images to 
articulate a critique of a social degeneration, and its own formal properties represent values 
alternative to that degradation. The precision of his perception, the subtle analytic cues of 
his rhythms, and the virtuoso orchestration of an extended register of sensual tonalities of 
film not only stand against the commercial film and television and their political complicity, 
but also stand with the counterculture and its representative, here the American Indian. The 
aesthetic qualities of Quixote thus allegorize social values, mythic richness, ecological 
sensitivity, even technological primitiveness; its aesthetic is completely a politics and vice 
versa. Its method is that of the poet— of associational implications, of connotation, of the 
play of significance, sensitivity, and seriousness... 'a cinema which... has been liberated by 
poetry'. 

— David E. James, Allegories of Cinema 

Roslyn Romance (Is It Really True?) (1974); 16mm, color, sound, 17 minutes 

"My Romance is intended for something like 'broadcast' form, or like a 
correspondence... not so much for showing a big batch of it at one sitting. Eventually, it 
should be in both film and video tape form. The Introduction, Intro. 1 & 2 , is finished 
now. I will send rolls from time to time and hope one of these days to put the rest of it in 
shape for you to see. Meanwhile, I'll be continuing to record the Romance wherever I am. 
The work seems to be a sort of manual, concerning all the stuff of the cycle of life, from 
the most detailed mundanery to. . . God knows." 

— Bruce Baillie, Filmmakers Cooperative Catalog # 7 



Program 3: Friday, April 21, 1995, — San Francisco Art Institute 

Quick Billy {1967-70); 16mm, color and b/w, sound, 56 minutes 

"A personal record of the author's psychic journey and physical recovery during a period 
of his life which might be described essentially as one of transformation. . . 'the dark wood 
encountered in the middle of life's journey' (Dante)... As poetic cinema, its significance to 
the world is perhaps in its narration of a singular phenomena of our time, implicitly 
revealing those ancient 'rules' of transit evolved over the centuries; e.g., the Bardo Thodol 
{The Tibetan book of the Dead) , as well as Dante Alighieri's own discoveries in the time 
of the Fourteenth Century Europe, etc. The Bardo Thodol, from which parts I— III are 
adopted structurally, admonishes (the deceased)...' a time of uncertainty, undertaking 
nothing-fear not the terrifying forms of your own psyche...' Mankind deceased 
encountering a spectacular stream of images it once viewed as Reality. The film concludes 
with Part IV, a western one reeler, which dramatically summarizes the material of parts I, II 



48 



Program Notes 1995 

and III, in abstract form. All the film and tape was recorded in Fort Bragg, California, next 
to the Pacific Ocean. A final subtitle reads 'ever westward eternal rider'. Is it the image of 
Sisyphus or of Buddha? A beautifully incoherent work or art! A journey towards unity 
with this recent American film, both macroscopic and universal in its view." 

—Hans Helmut Rudele, Die Zeitung, 1970 

"This is Baillie's most complex, and probably his greatest, film. [...] The first part carries 
elements of Tung and Castro Street to a very pure extreme.. Images of nature, the sun and 
moon, of light, lead into one another with a smooth, but often disturbing, flow. One can 
readily see the connection to notions of life after death; even more than in Tung, these are 
not images presented in a manner that relates to ordinary, daily seeing. As the film 
progresses through its parts, a movement toward what seems to be a greater exteriority, a 
less subjective vision, seems apparent; the last part is a staged western-parody, 
photographed relatively conventionally. On closer examination, however, the film's 
progression becomes more ambiguous , and the final section can be seen as being more 
'artificial' (it is staged) than the first. The film's various sections and various styles can be 
seen as extensions of the different modes of filmmaking of Baillie's earlier films; they also 
relate to the varieties of states of consciousness which we experience in our own lives." 

—Fred Camper, Audio-Brandon Catalog, 1978-79 

^camera rolls* (1968-69); 16mm, color and b/w, silent, 16 minutes 

"The rolls', silent 3 minute rolls of films that came after the film itself, like artifacts from 
the descending layers of an archeological dig... numbered 41, 43, 46, and 47. [...] 'The 
rolls' took the form of a correspondence, or theatre, between their author and Stan 
Brakhage, in the winter of 1968-69. . . -Bruce Baillie 

"And you're doing it ART (and 'beyond art', if you like to put it prayerfully that way) all at 
once. I never saw a tighter knit bag of aesthetical tricks transcending their history— you got 
Baroque & its Coco balanced near perfectly... and you got the whole Netherlandishes and 
cups, including the entire Dutch kitchen, carrying your absolutely specific yearning into 
some new realm of feeling (that I suppose'll someday be cdled American): and you got the 
clear sense. . .and a blessing to all those enabled to see it— thank you." 

—Stan Brakhage, letter of February 2, 1969 

• program notes by Brian Frye, Rick Danielson, Irina Leimbacher* 



IMAGINARY LIGHT 
CURATED BY KATHY GERITZ AND STEVE ANKER 

Sunday, April 23, 1995 — Kabuki Theatre 
Wednesday, May 3, 1995 — Pacific Film Archive 

This program of new films by American filmmakers exalts in the sensual qualities of 
cinema, mining the unconscious through lush explorations of created and uncovered 
images. 

Premonition (1995), by Dominic Angerame; 16mm, b/w, sound, 10 minutes 

"The concrete world of the American infra-structure and its demise are made strangely 
poetic in this expressionist documentary which shows the vacant San Francisco 



49 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Embarcadero freeway after it has outlived its usefulness, before its destruction. In an 
atmosphere of daylight mystery, Angerame sows inklings and reveals the past encircled by 
the future. Lyrical, ominous, comic. Premonition works on the attentive viewer like a 
remembrance of something that is yet to happen, silent, telling daydream." 

—Barbara Jaspersen Voorhees 

San Francisco filmmaker Dominic Angerame began making films in the 1970s and has 
studied and taught in Chicago and throughout the Bay Area. Many of his films are largely 
poetic studies of urban life. For the past several years he has been Director of Canyon 
Cinema, the Bay Area's internationally renowned distributor of independent and alternative 
film. 

The Red Book (1994) y by Janie Geiser; 16mm, color, sound, 1 1 minutes 
Janie Geiser is a New York filmmaker/performance artist who specializes in puppetry in 
addition to filmmaking. Her previous Babel Town creates a bizarre dream-like world using 
puppets and collage techniques. 

Figure/Ground (The Snowman) (1995), by Phil Solomon; 
16mm, color, silent, 10 minutes 

A meditation on memory, burial and decay. . .a belated kaddish for my father. (PS) 

The Snow Man 

One must have a mind of winter 
To regard the frost and the boughs 
Of the pine trees crusted with snow; 

And have been cold a long time 

To behold the junipers shagged with ice, 

The spruces rough in the distant glitter 

Of the January sun; and not to think 
Of any misery in the sound of the wind, 
In the sound of a few leaves, 

Which is the sound of the land 

Full of the same wind 

That is blowing in the same bare place 

For the listener, who listens in the snow. 

And, nothing himself, beholds 

Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. 

— Wallace Stevens 

Phil Solomon has worked as a filmmaker for almost twenty years, and as a teacher at many 
important universities. Since 1991, Solomon has taught film production at the University 
of Colorado at Boulder. 

The Color of Love (1994), by Peggy Ahwesh; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 

""The Color of Love binds the fetishism of Joseph Cornell's Rose Hobart to the sexual 

transgressions of Barbara Rubin's Christmas on Earth, to name a couple of classics of 



50 



Program Notes 1995 

American avant-garde film. In 1964, whenever Christmas on Earth was screened, one 
expected the police to close the theater— and sometimes they did. I doubt the NYPD is 
going to invade the Whitney, but when I saw The Color of Love there at a press screening, 
I had the old familiar feeling— that I better watch my back." 

—Amy Taubin, The Village Voice (April 18, 1995) 

Peggy Ahwesh has over the last decade become one of America's most controversial and 
original personal filmmakers. Currently teaching filmmaking at Bard College in upstate 
New York, Ahwesh's films include Martina's Playhouse, From Romance To Ritual and 
The Deadman (with Keith Sanborn). 

In Consideration of Pompeii (1995), by Stan Brakhage; 
16mm, color, silent ( 18 fps), 4 minutes 

Since age 17/18 I've been haunted by the catastrophe of Pompeii— beginning with 
photographs (sold as pornography in high school) of the mummified lovers caught in coitus 
preserved by the volcanic ash, revivified by many ghostly photographic books, but 
especially illuminated by Donald Sutherland's accounts are images from 1st- hand 
experiences of the ruins. Finally my homage in 3 parts: "The Lovers of Pompeii," "Ashen 
Snow," and "Angelus". (SB) 

One of the most influential and prolific American avant-garde filmmakers, Stan Brakhage 
has made hundreds of films. Some of his most recent— 77i^ Mammals of Victoria, Black 
Ice, Stellar, Cannot Not Exist, and Three Homerics— will all premiere on May 7, 1995 at 
the San Francisco Cinematheque. 

Imaginary Light {1994), by Andrew Noren; 16mm, b/w, sound, 31 minutes 

"Scarcely half an hour long, as much object as it is movie. Imaginary light is more 
stripped down and intensely focused than Noren's last piece. The Lighted Field. Simply 
described as a time-lapse recording of the filmmaker's house and garden (Noren calls it his 
"backyard Buddha-impersonation, watching 'it' flow), this new works looks a century old 
—and it could be. In the service of his dynamic contemplation, Noren maximizes two basic 
devices— high-contrast black-and-white film stock and time-lapse pixelation, laboriously 
clicking off one frame at a time as he documents the shifting patterns of light on his shady 
lawn or ivy covered (ence... Imaginary Light is as pagan in its way as Noren's youthful, 
sexually explicit self-portraits. It's a hymn to the sun— simultaneously burning and bathing 
everything on the screen." 

—J. Hoberman, The Village Voice (April 11, 1995) 

This film is Part 6 of New York filmmaker Andrew Noren's cycle The Adventures of the 
Exquisite Corpse, which began in the 1960s with Kodak Ghost Poems, and now also 
includes The Lighted Field and Charmed Particles. 



51 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

ACHTUNG BABYI-MEDIA SNATCHERS OF THE 90S 

BALDWIN'S SONIC OUTLAWS AND NEGATIVLAND'S VIDEOS 

CRAIG BALDWIN AND NEGATIVLAND IN PERSON 

Sunday, April 30, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

I Still Haven't Found What Vm Looking For (acapella video mix, w.i.p.) 
by Mark Hosier; video, color, sound, 5:20 minutes 

/ Still Haven't Found What Vm Looking For (radio mix) by Mark Hosier; 
video, color, sound 

^Negadvland mixing U2 " by Mark Hosier; video, color, sound, 7:45 minutes 

Sonic Outlaws (1995) by Craig Baldwin; 16mm, color, sound, 87 minutes 
From the early-Modernist experiments of the Cubists in the first part of this Century to 
these final years of overwhelming mass-media influence over the Arts, the prototypical art- 
practice now recognized as most representative is collage . Legal provisions about 
copyright, about cultural property, even about authorship itself, mainly based on pre- 
technical 19th Century conceptions have hardly been able to keep up with revolutions in 
technology and art-making. These ever- sharpening aesthetic, cultural, and ethical 
contradictions have broken out into a fascination with real-life melodrama in the 
Negativland/U2 case, and my film Sonic Outlaws sets up an energized discursive platform 
where they may play themselves out. (CB) 

"Negativland is a small, dedicated group of musicians who, since 1980, have released 5 
albums, 4 cassette-only releases, 1 video, and now a single. This single, which is entitled 
'U2', was created as a parody, satire, social commentary, and cultural criticism. As a work 
of art, it is consistent with, and a continuation of, the artistic viewpoint we have been 
espousing toward the world of media for the last ten years. 

"Island Records and music publisher Wamer-Chappell Music, presumably acting on behalf 
of their group U2, have instigated legal action against our single and have succeeded not 
only in removing it from circulation, but ensuring that it cannot ever be released again. It is 
clear that their preference is that the record never even be heard again. The terms of the 
settlement that was forced on us include: 

• Everyone who received a copy of the record— record distributors and stores (6951 
copies), and radio stations, writers, etc. (692 copies)— is being notified to return it, 
and that if they don't do so, or if they engage in 'distributing, selling, advertising, 
promoting, or otherwise exploiting' the record, they may be subject to penalties 
'which may include imprisonment and fines.' Once returned, the records will be 
forwarded to Island for destruction. 

•All of SST's on-hand stock of the record, in vinyl, cassette, and CD (5357 copies 
total), is to be delivered to Island, where it will be destroyed. 

•All mechanical parts used to prepare and manufacture the record are to be delivered 
to Island, presumably also for destruction. This includes 'all tapes, stampers, molds, 
lacquers and other parts used in the manufacturing', and 'all artwork, labels, 
packaging, promotional, marketing, and advertising or similar material.' 



52 



Program Notes 1995 

•Our copyrights in the recordings themselves have been assigned to Island and 
Wamer-Chappell. This means we no longer own two of our better works. 

•Payment of $25,000 and half the wholesale proceeds from the copies of the record 
that were sold and not returned. We estimate the total cost to us, including legal fees 
and the cost of the destroyed records, cassettes, and CDs, at $70,000— more money 
than we've made in our twelve years of existence." 

— Negativland Press Release (November 10, 1991) 

"Artists have always approached the entire worid around them as both inspiration to act and 
as raw material to mold and remold. Other art is just more raw material to us and to many, 
many others we could point to. When it comes to cultural influences, ownership is the 
point of fools. Copycats will shrink in the light of comparison. Bootlegging exact 
duplicates of another's product should be prosecuted, but we see no significant harm in 
anything else artists care to do with anything available to them in our 'free' marketplace. 
We claim the right to create with mirrors. This is our working philosphy." 

—Negativland PR 

"Plagiarism in late capitalist society articulates a unique contemporary cultural condition: 
namely, that there is 'nothing left to say,' a feeling made more potent by the theoretical 
possibility of access to all knowledge brought about by new technologies. The Tape-beatles 
understand the nature of 'participation' in the total reign of the commodity fetish wherein , 
consumption is the prime sacrament. We attempt to counteract in some small way the 
apparent hegemony of this set of attitudes by staking a claim to all received culture as 
conundra to be teased apart and reintegrated into new contextual millieux. In doing so, our . 
work wrings fresh content from works that are on the surface so beguilingly empty and yet 
somehow incredibly vital to our existence as participants in culture. In the end, the listener 
must judge, but these few words might serve as a guide." 

—The Tape-beatles 

In a 1992 FilmMalcer interview with Beth Cataldo, Baldwin discusses some of the impetus 
behind the making of Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies in America; "That's why I'm 
making revisionist histories. Power is the ability to attach meaning to an event. And history' 
is written by the victors. The least I'm asking is that you are aware of the fact that history is 
written by people who have a vested interest." In a similar vein, much of Sonic Outlaws 
and the associated controversies are played across the body of history, and the art tradition 
which makes it into the history books, and in this sense who has access to the writing of 
history, the specific image, name, copyright. 

In formal terms of style and technique. Sonic Outlaws is not only about appropriation and 
collage aesthetics, but is an illustration of these very methods. As with Baldwin's earlier . 
work, the film is filled with priceless found footage and daft dialectics, but departs in 
Baldwin's use of on-camera interviews, whether in a straight style, low-angle hand held 
camera, or on Pixel vision. Baldwin also wrote that another organizing principle behind : 
Sonic Outlaws was "a creative/nihilistic metamorphism of language itself. The epistemic 
displacement of received meanings that, beneath the topical, is the 'latent' project of the 
film finds playful expression through attacking/exploiting two linguistic features: Much of ^ 
the 'found' footage is sub-titled (or inter-titled), so my recombinant experimentation may 
also intervene at the text/sound/image nexus. Likewise, the sampling of 'described' 
versions of motion pictures (i.e., narration added to track to codify the visual into words 
for the blind audiences) will re-double and complicate the word/image relation. From The 
Art of Noise' tracts to a noise-art explosion of written, verbal, and visual languages. Sonic 



53 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Outlaws reflects a sub-cultural quest for new creative forms and freedoms in the media- 
arts." 

CRAIG BALDWIN FiLMOGRAPHY 

Wild Gunmen (1978); 16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes: RacketKitKongoKit (1986); 
16mm, color, sound, 30 minutes: Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (1991); 
16mm! b/w/color, sound, 48 minutes: /O No Coronado! (1992); 16mm, color, sound, 40 
minutes: Sonic Outlaws (1995); 16mm, color, sound, 87 minutes 

•program notes by E. Golembiewski* 



LOVE AND DINGLEBERRIES: 

ALYCE WITTENSTEIN & GEORGE KUCHAR 

CURATED BY JOEL SHEPARD / GEORGE KUCHAR IN PERSON 

Thursday, May 4, 1995 - Center for the Arts 

As a child bored with the New York public school curriculum, Alyce Wittenstein spent time 
accumulating drawings in her noteb<x)k, a habit discouraged by her teachers and parents 
alike. Alyce went on to attend Boston University with a double major in Film and Political 
Science. Returning to New York, Alyce began working on a documentary, later to become 
the narrative film Betaville, in response to the creeping gentrification of the city she loved. 
Exclaiming that "to provoke, films must also entertain!", she pursued film as a way to 
combine her interests in visual art and political activism. Alyce elaborates, "I became 
interested in Science Fiction, emulating how the medium was used in the fifties— as a way 
to imbed a serious message and stealth it through. Science Fiction at its best, is an exciting 
literature of speculation, but like other 'genres', such as horror, quite a bit of it is garbage." 
The Deflowering is Alyce's third film and the capstone to a project she began in 1985, The 
Deflowering Trilogy, which includes her earlier films Betaville, a takeoff on Godard's 
Alphaville, and No Such Thing as Gravity (1989), a black comedy about capitalist fascism 
in which all non-consumers and those charged with 'uselessness' are exiled to an artifical 
planet. 

The Deflowering (1994); 16mm, color, sound, 43 minutes 

Written and Directed by Alyce Wittenstein. Production design by Steve Ostringer. 
Produced by Alyce Wittenstein and Steven Olswang. Music by David Weinstein. With 
HollyAdams, Burkhard Kosminski, Emmanuelle Chaulet, Taylor Mead, Bill Rice, and 
Screamin' Rachel. 

AIDS has mutated. Skin-to-skin contact is deadly. Fortunately, technology has come to the 
rescue. Genetically engineered "designer" children are delivered "out-of-body" and 
Victorian inspired full-body condoms are the rage. But, a flaw in the genetic engineers' 
attempts to boost immunity has had the side effect of escalating allergic reaction to pollen. 
Systematic attempts at mass defoliation are failing to control the rising death rate. People 
are itching for a solution! Despite a booming economy, funding for allergy research is 
scarce. A rogue genetic engineer solicits the aid of a disgruntled defoliator, and proposes a 
dangerous exj^eriment .. 

This film is dedicated to the idea that the future will not necessarily be better or worse than 
the present. As Ray Bradbury has said, '1 don't try to predict the future, I try to prevent it.' 



54 



Program Notes 1995 

Science Fiction serves the goal of extrapolating current events into the future, in the hope 
that we can learn from history and avoid the errors of the past. We must be humble enough 
to admit and recognize our mistakes because to neglect this responsibility leads to decline. 
(AW) 



jfje/^jjL- I^^Lk^ Y^J^ 'V/>^^ «»^^^'^ 



y{AJL^ 




nj^^jP^ Xi\MA^A ;tkjff^^ ■ ^HaAam m<J^ ^'^'^ ^ 

-J 

— From the hand of George Kuchar 



55 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

"For 30 years, working several economic rungs below low-budget, Mr. Kuchar has 
reached for the glamour of Hollywood and pulled it right down to street level, where 
ordinary mortals with weight problems and bad skin wage unequal battle with their tawdry 
surroundings... Mr. Kuchar produces, directs and edits his films. He does the sound and 
the lighting. He writes the scripts, quickly. 'I work best under terrible pressure,' he said. 
'Usually, I write as the actors are getting ready for the scene.' In a Kuchar film, there is no 
such thing as a second take. Or rather, the second take is simply added on to the first take 
and becomes part of the film.. ..In the last decade Mr. Kuchar has made video dramas with 
his students at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he has taught film and video since 
1971, and a series of video diaries, which deal with various personal torments, his psychic 
development and his pet obsessions, especially weather." 

—William Grimes, NY Times (August 10, 1993) 

The Gifted Goon (1994), by George Kuchar; video 
Portraiture in Black (1995), by George Kuchar; video 
Nirvina of the Nebbishites (1994), by George Kuchar; video 



THE MAMMALS OF VICTORIA 
AND OTHER NEW FILMS BY BRAKHAGE 

Sunday, May 7, 1995 — SF Art Institute 

Last calendar we presented Program 2 and 3 of Stan Brakhage's 1960s 8mm Songs cycle. 
Tonight the Cinematheque premieres several of the newest films selected from a group of 
over a dozen released within the past year. 

Stellar {\993)\ 16mm, color, silent, 2.5 minutes 

"This is a hand-painted film which has been photographically step-printed to achieve 
various effects of brief fades and fluidity-of-motion, and makes partial use of painted 
frames in repetition (for 'close-up' of textures). The tone of the film is primarily dark blue, 
and the paint is composed (and rephotographed microscopically) to suggest galactic forms 
in a space of stars." 

Black Ice (1994); 16mm, color, silent, 2.5 minutes 

"I lost sight due to a blow on the head from slipping on black ice (leading to eye surgery, 
eventually); and now (because of artificially thinned blood) most steps I take outdoors all 
winter are made in frightful awareness of black ice. 
These 'meditations' have finally produced this hand-painted, step-printed film." 

Three Homerics (1993); 16mm, color, silent, 2.5 minutes 

"This film is composed of three sections created to accompany a piece of music (by Barbara 
Feldman) on a Homeric poem: (1) 'Diana holds back the night...' is represented by dark 
shapes suppressing (almost angulariy interfering with) orange-golden effusions of paint 
and the reflective paint-shapes of eariy morning greens (as if silhouettes or arm and bodily 
profile were shading the light), (2) Homer's '...rolling sea...' represented by hand-painted 
step- printed dissolves of blues in wave shapes, bubbles, and the soft browns and tender 
greens of seaweed, flotsam-jetsam, and (3) 'Ah, love again, the light' represented by 



56 



Program Notes 1995 

painted explosions of multiple hues and lines recurrently interrupted by the "blush" of soft 
suffusing reds." 

MamnuUs of Victoria (1994); 16mm, color, silent, @24 fps, 30 minutes 
"The film begins with a series of horizontally running ocean tide waves, sometimes with 
mountains in the background, hand-painted patters, sometimes step-printed hand-painting, 
abstractions composed of distorted (jammed) T. V. shapes in shades of blue with occasional 
red, refractions of light within the camera lens, sometimes mixed with reflections of 
water— this "weave" of imagery occasionally revealing recognizable shapes of birds and 
humans, humans as fleeting figures in the water, as distant shapes in a rowboat, as human 
shadows, so forth. Increasingly closer images of water, and of light reflected off water, as 
well as bursts of fire, intersperse the long shots, the seascapes and all the other interwoven 
imagery. Eventually a distant volley ball arcs across the sky filled with cumulus clouds; this 
is closely followed by, and interspersed with, silhouettes of a young man and woman in 
the sea, which leads to some extremely out-of-focus images from a front car window, an 
opening between soft-focus trees, a clearing. Carved wooden teeth suddenly sweep across 
the frame. Then the film ends on some soft-focus horizon lines, foregrounded by ocean, 
slowly rising and falling and rising again in the frame. This film is a companion piece to A 
Child's Garden and the Serious Side. " 

Cannot Not Exist (1994); 16mm, color, silent, @ 24fps, 10 minutes 

"In this non-orange negative of a hand-painted film, a series of luminously pastel shapes— 
often patches of color against a stark white background— are interspersed with nearly black 
intermittent smudges punctuating white. These visual themes develop gradually into a 
series of multi-colored vertical lines which weave contrapuntally in relation to the flickering 
(single-frame) point shapes. Twice, a solid (as if photographed) shape is seen receding 
from the amalgam of point. Masses of tiny dots and 'curlicue' shapes sometimes interrupt 
the thematic progression from irregular point-shapes flickering to fluidity of vertical lines: 
this theme eventually resolves itself through the intervention of globular shapes (most 
notably, brilliant orange-yellow 'globs') which append themselves over several frames and 
prompt the eventual amalgamation of all themes." 

—film sysnopsis/descriptions by Stan Brakhage 

•progam notes by C Whiteside* 



THE FILMS OF YOKO ONO-PROGRAM 2 

ERECTION AND RAPE 

Thursday, May 11, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Violence is a sad wiud that, if channeled carefully, could bring seeds, chairs and 

all things pleasant to us. 

We are all would-be Presidents of the World, and kids kicking the sky that doesn't 

listen. 

What would you do if you had only one penis and a one-way tube ticket when 

you wanted to fuck the whole nation in one come? 

I know a professor of philosophy whose hobby is to quiedy crush biscuit boxes 

in a supermarket. 

Maybe you can send signed, plastic lighters to people in place of your penis. But 

then some people might take your lighter as a piece of sculpture and keep it up 

on their living-room shelf. 



57 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

So we go on eating and feeding frustration every day. lick lollipops and stay 

being peeping-toms dreaming of becoming Jack-The- Ripper. 

This film was shot by our cameraman, Nic, while we were in a hospital. Nic is a 

gentle-man, who prefers eating clouds and floating pies to shooting Rape. 

Nevertheless it was shot. 

And as John says: 'A is for parrot, which we can plainly see.' 

— Yoko Ono on her film Rape, April 1969 in Film Culture, Winter/Spring 1970 

This evening the San Francisco Cinematheque presents its second program in an ongoing 
retrospecive of Yoko Ono's films. Ono's status as a popular figure tends to eclipse her 
achievements as an artist, especially with regard to her activities in filmmaking. Particularly 
prolific as a filmmaker between the years 1966 and 1971, Ono made her films in the 
context of the Fluxus movement under the auspices of George Maciunas. She also 
produced "film scripts", or descriptions of conceptual, viewer-specific "films", many of 
which could not exist as actual film works. Concerned with the formal qualities of the 
cinema and the experiential aspects of cinema spectatorship (especially time and 
movement), Ono played a significant role in the articulation of the Fluxus aesthetic, 
inflecting the terms by which filmmakers understand the structural material elements of the 
cinema 

Yoko Ono studied poetry and music at Sarah Lawrence College during the 1950s, after 
which she moved to New York City and became involved with a group of avant-garde 
musicians and performers, including John Cage, Merce Cunningham and LaMonte Young, 
who presented his "Chambers Street Series" at Ono's loft at 112 Chambers Street. Ono's 
early compositions include A Grapefruit in the World of Park, and A Piece for 
Strawberries and Violins, performed by Yvonne Rainer. 

During the 1960s, Ono became heavily involved with the Huxus movement, participating 
in performances and creating installation/sculptural works. Ono's film work tends to 
directly address its audience, foregrounding the dialectical relationship between work and 
subject and explicitly implicating the viewer in the act of aesthetic consumption. Rape is 
one of Ono's most complex and engaging films and has provoked extensive critical 
commentary both when it was released and more recently at the Whitney Museum's 
retrospective of her films in 1989. 

Erection (1971); 16mm, sound, 20 minutes 

(Produced and directed in collaboration with John Lennon.) 

"Erection was conceived by Lennon and produced over an 18-month period in 1970 and 
1971. Still photographs of a construction site are dissolved into each other to document the 
gradual erection of the London International Hotel. Music by Ono and fellow Rusus 
member Joe Jones is combined with the sounds of heavy construction on the soundtrack." 

— Tom Smith, in "The Films of Yoko Ono", 
produced by the American Federation of Arts 

Rape {\969)', 16mm, color, sound, 77 minutes 

(Directed in collaboration with John Lennon) 

Yoko Ono's script for Rape, 1968: 
"Film No. 5 
Rape (or Chase) 
Rape with camera. 1 1/2 hr. color. Synchronized sound. 



58 



Program Notes 1995 

A cameraman will chase a girl on a street with a camera persistently until he comers 

her in an alley, and, if possible, until she is in a falling position. 

The cameraman will be taking a risk of offending the girl as the girl is somebody he 

picks up arbitrarily on the street, but there is a way to get around this. ^j 

Depending on the budget, the chase could be made with girls of different ages, etc. 

May chase boys and men as well. 

As the film progresses, and as it goes towards the end, the chase and the running 

should become slower and slower like in a dream, using a highspeed camera. 

I have a cameraman who's prepared to do this successfully. " 

"Shot by Ono's cameraman Nic Knowland in November, 1968, while she was in the 
hospital recuperating from a miscarriage, the film features 21 -year-old Eva Majlath as the 
unfortunate victim of the camera's assault. Accosted in a cemetery in London and followed 
relentlessly for two days, the young woman, who does not speak English, becomes 
increasingly frantic in her efforts to communicate with— and then to escape— the 
filmmakers. As a statement about invasion of privacy and the media's incessant hounding 
of celebraties, the film seems, in retrospect, prophetic of events to follow in Lennon and 
Ono's public life." 1 

—Tom Smith, in "The Films of Yoko Ono" 

"Although Majlath never completely panics or appears to imagine herself in physical 
danger, she doen't seem complicit in her victimization— her anger and confusion are 
absolutely convincing. This, of course, is much of the fascination. In one sense. Rape is a 
particularly brutal dramatization of the Warholian discovery that the camera's implacable 
stare disrupts 'ordinary' behavior to enforce its own regime. In another, the film is a 
graphic metaphor for the ruthless surveillance that can theoretically attach itself to any 
citizen of the modem world. . . ' 

"Basically, Rape presents a beautiful, extremely feminine woman in peril, her situation 
overtly sexualized by the very title. (The opening graveyard provides a suitably gothic 
location.) Although this scenario is a movie staple, arguably the movie staple, the absence 
of a narrative strongly invites the audience to identify with camera's (unmistakably male) 
look and recognize this controlling gaze as its own. In its realization, Ono's script becomes 
the purest illustration of Laura Mulvey's celebrated essay, 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative 
Cinema,' published eight years after Rape was made." 

—J. Hoberman, Village Voice (March 1989) 

• program notes by Brian Frye • 



CANYON CINEMA NIGHTS: 
ECCENTRIC VISIONS 

CURATED AND PRESENTED BY MICHAEL WALLIN 

Thursday, May 18, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

This program is the third in a series of guest-curated programs selected from Canyon 
Cinema, the Bay Area's premier distributor of alternative film. Tonight's curator, Michael 



59 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Wallin, has been a fixture in the Bay Area's avant-garde film community for over twenty 
years, including stints as a film instructor at California College of Arts and Crafts and 
manager of Canyon Cinema for most of the 80's. Up until last year, Wallin was a member 
of Canyon's Board of Directors. From his earliest days as a prot^g6 to the legendary Bruce 
Baillie to his current efforts as a mature artist, Wallin's films have conveyed his direct and 
deeply felt involvement with the materials at hand. Tonight's films are some of Michael's 
favorites and are characterized by a wild diversity of styles and the single-minded 
peculiarity (if not dark perversity) of their vision. 

New Improved Institutional Quality: In the Environment of Liquids and Nasals a 
Parasitic Vowel Sometimes Develops (1976), by Owen Land (a.k.a. George 
Landow); 
16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

A reworking of an earlier film. Institutional Quality, in which the same test was given. In 
the earlier film the person taking the test was not seen, and the film viewer in effect became 
the test taker. The newer version concerns itself with the effects of the test on the test taker. 
An attempt is made to escape from the oppressive environment of the test— a test containing 
meaningless, contradictory, and impossible-to-foUow directions— by entering into the 
imagination. In this case it is specifically the imagination of the filmmaker, in which the test 
taker encounters images from previous Land films. . . As he moves through the images in the 
filmmaker's mind, the test taker is in a trance-like state, and is carried along by some 
unseen force... At the end of the film the test taker is back at his desk, still following 
directions. (OL) 

Cartoon le Mousse (1979), by Chick Strand; 16mm, b/w, sound, 15 minutes 
"Chick Strand is a prolific and prodigiously gifted film artist who seems to break new 
ground with each new work. Her ..."found footage" works such as Cartoon le Mousse, 
are extraordinarily beautiful, moving, visionary pieces that push this genre into previously 
unexplored territory. If poetry is the art of making evocative connections between 
otherwise dissimilar phenomena, then Chick Strand is a great poet, for these films 
transcend their material to create a surreal and sublime universe beyond reason." 

—Gene Youngblood, Canyon Cinema Catalog 7 

The Ojf -Handed Jape (1967), by Robert Nelson; 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes 
I've always felt good about this film because it's beyond criticism. No one can say it's 
awful, no matter what elaborate reasons they construct, without talking about what's good 
in the film. If it's truly awful, then it's just right, because that's exactly what we had in 
mind. If you can't enjoy that kind of awfulness, that's another matter . . .and I'd have to say 
"that's your problem because, after all, there are plenty of other kinds of awfulness that 
you really do enjoy, and YOU know it!" (RN) 

The Mongreloid i\9^S), by George Kuchar; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 
Not really a poem to God spelled backwards, but more a limerick to a pee-pee licker. The 
Mongreloid will leave you with the question of whether the subject of the light verse walks 
in this film on four legs... or two. (GK) 

Film Watchers (1974), by Herb deGrasse; 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 

DeGrasse's tirade at an audience he'd rather not have. (Remember if you feel insulted those 
insults are for you.) (HD) 

Breakfast {\912-\976), by Michael Snow; 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 



60 



Program Notes 1995 

Shot in 1972 and shelved until 1976, when sound and editing problems were solved. All 
the varied and unusual motions visible on the screen are the result of a single camera 
movement. (MS) 

The Secret of Life {1971), by Victor Faccinto; 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 
The characters populating Faccinto's films are nightmare figures, often with monstrously 
distorted bodies, some wearing ominous masks, others part animal, part human. The real 
horror results from the swiftness and relentlessness with which a violent fate overtakes 
these characters, who despite their grotesquery, display the ordinary human emotions, 
weaknesses and fears. 

—Barbara Scharres, Trickfilm-Chicago Catalog 1975 

Kindering (19^), by Stan Brakhage; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 
This film presents the voice of a child play-singing in relation to full orchestral 'takes' of 
The Times and visually juxtaposed with children-at-play (my grandchildren lona and Quay 
Bartek) in Americana backyard. They are seen, as in dream, to be already caught-up-in yet 
absolutely distinct-from the rituals of adulthood. The visuals were photographed and edited 
to the music collage of Architect's Office performance A0124 by Trevor and Joel Haertling 
and Doug Stickler. (SB) 

Ronnie (1912), by Curt McDowell; 16mm, b/w, sound, 7 minutes 
A naked hustler tells his story nonstop. A real wonder-hunk. (CM) 

RabbiVs Moon (1972), by Kenneth Anger; 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes 

Rabbits Moon seems to me your finest film, most perfect and, oh all together finest!, of 
the sharpest clarity. Beautiful, yet beauty balanced by dreadful necessity, so that it is an 
emblem of the soul's experience: signature... And I think my tum-of-mind here especially 
appropriate because I also saw this film as your autobiography, all the figures in it aspects 
f yourself, its magical progress a kind of "story of your life." 

— Stan Brakhage, Canyon Cinema Catalog 7 






program notes compiled by Rick Danielson 



REGULAR 8MM: SAVED FROM EXTINCTION 
PRESENTED BY FLIMMAKER AND 8MM FILM JUNKIE TOM CHURCH 

Friday, May 19, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

"In January, '93 Kodak 'discontinued' regular 8mm film, a much misunderstood medium, 
greatly loved by many, 'due to insufficient market demand. . . ' (their words). That left a lot 
of folkd upset. Tonight's program exhibits the entire gamut made, from 'smokers' (c. 200 
ft. p)omo reels thousands of which were made during the 60s and 70s) to trailers {Trailer 
for the Masterbation Film Festival), documentary {Before Gentrification Hit, soundtrack 
by Caroliner), home/travel/vacation movies, abridged versions of classics, and 'personal' 
work by auteur/pioneers from the 50s & 60s (Mike Kuchar). Roughly 1 hour with "talk". 
Plus, the unveiling of a new local magazine. Marginal Film. Bring down those 8mm films 
out of you closet to be shown as part of the program and get in free. Also, we're gonna be 
giving way film to the fist 50 customers." 

—Tom Church 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 



THE STORY LIVED BY ATRAUD-MOMO 
PERFORMED BY BECKETT PLUS ONE PRODUCTIONS 

Sutiday, May 21, 1995 - SF Art Institute 



The Story Lived by Artaud-Momo 

'The Story lived by Ailaud-Momo" takes its title from Antoniii Ailaiid's final 
lecture on Jaiiuaiy 13tli, 1947, which is said to have been one of his greatest concrete 
manifestations of the niealre of Cruelty. Jean Louis Bairault said of Atlaud that he "made 
himself into a theatre - a theatre tiial did not cheat." hi otiier words, his greatest 
contribution to theatre was his life itself- the passion with which he lived it, the 
uncompromising nanire of his conunilment, and, tragically, the degiee to which he failed. 

It is our hope to invert Bairanlt's statement - to bring Artaud into the theatre, and 
make of him a mythic, theatrical figure, hispired by his "No More Masterpieces" chapter 
from "Tlie Tlieaire and its Double," it occurred to us that thougli many have failed in 
attempting to stage or understand Ailaud, it was perhaps because he was tragically 
impairecj by his lack of ability to make his ideas functional. 

Tlie script's stnictuie consists of tlree parallel colunuis of text, tlie first of which 
represents live stage action. Ilie second two columns represent an overla|>ping bairage of 
impressions, which will be played over the sound system. We are also using slides of 
fixed images, as well as of nairative text, film, puppets, and masks. As a whole, these 
images and sounds will hopefully circumvent, in their chaos, the intellect, and drive 
directly at the lieail. 

We have composed a script unique in that each word can be cited, from Artaud , 
himself and from all those artists whom he knew and influenced. We have cut and pasted , 
his life and words into a show which we hope at once celebrates his passion, and refutes 
the above mentioned notion that he was a careless practitioner of violence for its own sake 
In doing so, we hope to awaken in an audience the purity of his life and passion, while 
shutting away the accoutemients of his failings. Using his methodology, his words, and his 
life, we hope to create a theatrical biogia|)hy that is as chaotic, frenzied, and meaningful as 





the story he lived. 



62 



"^0 



J 

^ 



^Program Notes 1995 



EXPLORING RACISMS: 

THE KKK BOUTIQUE AIN'T JUST REDNECKS 

PRECEDED BY MATZO BALLS AND BLACK-EYED PEAS 

CURATED BY IRINA LEIMBACHER 

Daniel robin in Person 

Thursday, May 25, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

This evening's films are challenging and innovative not only in their choice of subject 
matter but also in their original and ecclectic approach to film form. Neither are 
conventional documentaries nor even typical essay films; both are extremely personal, in 
very different ways, and address issues of social and political relevance. While in Daniel 
Robin's film he and his partner Rulette Mapp together explore their relationship and the 
impact race and notions of identity sometimes have on it, Camille Billops and James Hatch 
unabashedly examine the causes and consequences of racism in American culture and in 
their own and their friends' lives. Each of the films combines a rich variety of filmic styles 
and ways of telling to convey unique, forceful and thought provoking messages. 

Matzo Balls and Black-eyed Peas (1994), by Daniel Robin; 16mm, color, sound, 25 
minutes 

An intensely personal look into a young couple's interracial relationship. Employing 
innovative interviews by close friends, scenes from daily life, personal reflections and 
evocative experimental images, this film explores issues of race, cultural identity and love 
in the filmmaker and his partner's life together. 

Daniel Robin, the son of a Rabbi, grew up in rural Bakersfield, California. The isolation 
of being virtually the only Jewish family in town and the experience of anti-Semitism 
created an intense awareness of his own Jewish identity. Identity, its definitions and 
implication, are recurring themes in his work as a filmmaker. In 1992 Daniel graduated 
from San Francisco State University's Film Program where he completed his first two 
short films, 722 Webster (1990) and Chasing the Grail (1992). He is now at work on a 
feature film. 

The KKK Boutique Ain't Just Rednecks (1994), by Camille Billops and James V. Hatch; 
16mm, color, sound, 75 minutes 

The KKK Boutique —a docu/fantasy— intercuts surrealism with talking heads to reveal 
racism as a disease of the soul. The storyline models itself on Dante's Inferno— a journey 
through hell where punishment fits the crime, and confession is sometimes the only 
reward. The descent begins from a field of sunflowers. Our Virgil and guide, Camille, 
leads her friends through the underground KKK Boutique— some of its many levels are 
comic, some ugly. As the descent deepens, Camille warns her "Bouteekers" not to linger, 
because racism is attractive and communicable. Some souls deny ever having had any 
racism. Some— frozen by their hatred— are eternally damned to their pain. A few confess 
to their own racial madness, and these "Boutikeers" ascend back into the 
sunflowers.(CB/JH) 

Camille Billops is an acclaimed printmaker, sculptor, muralist and photographer in 
addition to being an award-winning director. She grew up in Los Angeles, and learned 
creativity and artistic expression from her mother, a seamstress (as well as a maid and 
defense plant worker), her father, a chef and merchant seaman, and her stepfather, whose 
Bell and Howell camera recorded home movies for more than 20 years. Before becoming a 
director (she never went to film school), Billops created sculptures and prints that were 



63 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

often about her family members. Thus it was no surprise that she also began her 
filmmaking career chronicling family stories, beginning with Suzanne, Suzanne (1982), 
about her niece's struggle with drug addiction, and leading to Older Women and Love 
(1987), exploring the erotic lives of her octogenarian aunt and other older women, and later 
Finding Christa (1991), about her own decision to give up her 4 year old daughter for 
adoption and their subsequent reunion 21 years later. James Hatch, her co-director and 
co-producer, is also a playwright, archivist, professor and scholar. Together they share a 
New York loft that is home, office, gallery and studio, and they are now working on and 
raising money for their next piece, A String of Pearls. 

•program notes by Irina Leimbacher* 



MARCIA BRADY AND MENSTRUATION: 
CO-CURATED BY JOEL SHEPARD & DAVID NAYLOR 

Sunday, May 28, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

Tonight's program presents a selection of extremely rare, never-screened "girl's only" 
educational films made for the high school market during the 60s and 70s. Issues such as 
menstruation, personal safety, sex, and dating were explored with varying degrees of 
lyrical sensitivity and sledgehammer exploitation. Some of the films will bring back 
memories, some will create new nightmares... And for the very first time, boys will get to 
see just what the girls saw behind those locked gym doors. "Marcia Brady and 
Menstruation" is co-curated by Joel Shepard, Associate Director of the SF Cinematheque, 
and David Naylor of Alpha Blue Archives, a distributor of educational films. Enjoy the 
show! There will not be a test. 

Changes (1975); 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

Funny, shiny story of two evil brat boys who terrorize a young girl trying to buy tampons. 
Self Protection for Women (1968); 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 
Various techniques to ward off male attackers are confusingly discussed in this low-budget 
epic from 1968. The information ranges from still-sensible to very odd. Remember how to 
hold those keys! 

Rape Alert {19^6); 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

An unnecessarily graphic, terrifying rape scare film, produced with the Los Angles 
Sheriffs Department. 

When Jenny When (1978); 16mm, color, sound, 30 minutes 

Starring Maureen McCormick ("Marcia Brady" from The Brady Bunch) who plays a slut 
who has difficulty liking herself, except when turning on boys. 

All Women Have Periods (1979); 16mm, color, sound, 10 very long minutes 

Produced as an educational film for young girls with Downs Syndrome, the unforgettable 
All Women Have Periods is unique in that it stars a young actress who actually has the 
disease. "Yes, dear, all women have periods" will ring through your head for weeks. 

Pink Slip, a similar but different selection of ''girVs only"" educational films, is available on 
videocassette through Alpha Blue Archives, P.O. Box 16072, Oakland, CA 94610. 



64 



Program Notes 1995 

ALEXANDER KLUGE'S SHORT FILMS 

Thursday, June 1, 1996 - Center for the Arts 

"In a world in which everyone else conforms to rational reason, someone at least could be , 
unreasonable. Since the totalizing quest for meaning has itself become irrational, literary | 
language should be shifted to areas in which it is not totally subjected to the imperative of i 
meaning, as it is in its proper field. Language in film may be blind." 

—Alexander Kluge, "Word and Form," October 46 (Fall 1988) 

Alexander Kluge is one of the most influential and important director/theorists of the 
German Autorenfihn or das Neue Kino, which is often referred to as the German New 
Wave. Heavily indebted to both the Marxism of Frankfurt school theorists like . 
Horkheimer, Benjamin and Adomo and the self-reflexivity and dialectics of Brecht, Kluge * 
is most concerned with the specificities of public experience, the act of differentiation 
between public and private spheres and the theorization of a proletarian public sphere on the 
foundation of the seeds of consciousness extant in the "classical: (bourgeois) public sphere. 

One of the few theorists who consistently and effectively attempts the translation of 
theoretical ideas into cinematic praxis, Kluge was instrumental to the writing and 
implementations of the Oberhausen Manifesto, which outlined a program of critically aware 
cinematic practice in Germany. A lawyer by profession, Kluge played a key role in the 
democratization of German television instituting a program through which politically aware 
(and often Marxist) filmmakers were able to show short worked during prime-time hours 
on private television stations. 

In his own work, Kluge has cultivated an oblique, pseudo-narrative style, utilizing many * 
distancing elements (intertitles, unrelated voice-over, the fragmentation of continuity), 
cultivating a contingency and ambiguity that belies easy summation. Always concerned 
with the specificities of history and memory, of ideology mediated by experience and 
understanding, Kluge's films, as his stories and theoretical work, function as both 
document and catalyst, insisting upon critical involvement and resisting the drive to 
narrative and ideological closure. 

"A rain puddle which no\one needs, which isn't terrorized so that it 'behaves,' may attain a 
classical form— the harmony of form and content. We human beings are distinguished by 
the fact that form and content wage war with another. If content is a moment in time 
(whose duration may be 160 years or one second), then form is all the rest, the gaps, 
precisely that which, at this moment, the story does not tell." 

—Alexander Kluge, "selections from 'New Stories, Notebooks 1-18' 
in "The Uncanniness of Time," October 48 (Fall 1988) 

Die Ewigkeit von Gestern (The Eternity of Yesterday) ( 1960/63) ; 
16mm, b/w, sound, 11 minutes 

An investigation of Germany's Nazi past through contemplation of the ideology expressed 
by fascist architecture, Kluge's first film, The Eternity of Yesterday (also known as 
Brutalitat im SteinI Brutality Stone in its earlier version), anticipated the dialectical, 
composite style of his later works. The formal tension generated though the discontinuity 
of sound and image and the overtonal meaning produced through their interaction demands ; 
a critical recollection of the historical materiality of fascism and National Socialism and the . 
extent to which they inflected not only the political sphere, but also the experience of ] 
everyday German life. The stillness and reflective quality of the montage-like form and ' 
historical resonance of the sound work together to both affirm the physicality and all-too- 



65 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

easily displaced past and also to expose the extent to which the inflated grandeur and 
mythos of that past still functions as the legacy of modem society. As Kluge so adroitly 
points out, we are speared from the past not by an abyss, but by the changed situation— the 
circumstances may have changed, but the ideologies that inform them remain the same; 
those institution responsible for the myth making of Nazism are not so far removed from 
those which mark the parameters of the culture industry today. 

Frau Balckburriy get. 5 Jan. 1872, wirdgelfUnU (Mrs. Balckburn, born January 5, 
1872, isjilmed) (1967); 16mm, b/w, sound, 14 minutes 

"A gently comic study of Kluge's grandmother" 

—Stuart Uebman, Goethe Institut/Anthology Film Archives Program Notes 

Feuerloscher E.A. Wittenstein (Fireman EA. Wittenstein) (1968); 
16mm, b/w, sound, 1 1 minutes 

Lehrer im Wandel (Teachers Through Change) (1962/ 63) \ 
16mm, b/w, sound, 1 1 minutes 

^'Teachers Through Change is a suite of four short portraits of teachers whose lives have 
been profoundly affected by historical events. Each laconic life story is told through a 
series of old photographs separated by titles. Some are progressive educators victimized by 
the Nazis; one is a vicious opportunist who benefited from the fascist takeover. Their lives 
are implicitly contrasted with those of the ordinary, bureaucratized teachers today, whom 
we see in cinema- verity footage taken at a teachers' convention, school meetings, and so on 
The interruptions in the biographies figure the larger interruptions history makes in the lives 
of human beings (this is also the theme of a book of stories, Lebenslaufel Curricula Vitae, 
Kluge published in 1962)). The dispersed narrative focus and the formal discontinuities 
resist the homogenizing narrative strategies of the culture industry and presage the methos 
of 'antagonistic realism' Kluge later formulated in discursive terms." 

— Stuart Liebman, "Why Kluge?" October 46 (Fall 1988) 

Portrat einer Behwarung (Proven Competence Portrayed) (1964); 
16mm, b/w, sound, 13 minutes 

"...recounts the fictionalized life of a police officer who loyally served no less than five 
very different German political regimes during his years of active duty." 

—Stuart Liebman, Goethe Institut/Anthology Film Archives Program Notes 

Nachrichten von den Stauffern (News from the Hohenstauffens) (\9ni)\ 
16mm, b/w and color, sound, 13 minutes 



ALEXANDER KLUGE 

THE BUND DIRECTOR 

Sunday, June 4, 1995 — SF Art Institute 

"If you take the plot out of a conventional film the individual images become nonsense. If 
you take the narrative from my films, or from the films of Dovzhenko and many others, 
however, there will always be a beautiful garden of images. And just as in a beautiful 
garden, the images do not have to form a concept. You do not have to understand it; you 
only need to walk through it. The garden is not there to be encompassed. Narrated 
differences, that is our work. " 

—Alexander Kluge, interview by Stuart Liebman, October 46 (Fall 1988) 



66 



Program Notes 1995 



DerAngriffder Gegenwart aufdie ubrige Zeit (The Blind Director) (1985); 

16mm, color, sound, 113 minutes 
Composed of a series of fractured, discontinuous, semi -narrative sequences, unrelated in 
any literal sense. The Blind Director addresses the passage of time and the tyranny of the 
present, and the mark they leave on the synthetic collective consciousness that comprises 
the sphere of public experience of contemporary Germany. In Kluge's understanding, the 
resolutely ahistorical character of the bourgeois public sphere and its insistence on the 
primacy of the "eternal present" marks the effect of capital on the character of "publicity" 
(Offentlichkeit), by which he refers to the meaning-productive capacity of the socio- 
political institutions which mediate ideology and individual experience. In a fashion similar 
to that of other contemporary Marxist critics such as Jurgen Habermas and Fredric 
Jameson, Kluge argues that the anti-critical, atemporal function of this alienated bourgeois 
public sphere must be engaged through a critical, historically grounded discourse, a 
proletarian or plebeian public sphere which functions as a mode of counter-publicity. In 
this sense, then. The Blind Director, the German title of which translate literally as the 
Assault of the Present on the Rest of Time, should operate both as a metaphorical document 
of the experience of contemporary German life and as a sort of Brechtian critical text, 
demanding critical engagement on the part of its audience through the denial of the 
teleological narrative and false transparency critical to the ideological function of the 
bourgeois sphere of experience. 

ALEXANDER KLUGE PARTIAL FiLMOGRAPHY 

Abshied von Ge stern (Anita G.) (Yesterday Girl) (1965-66); Die Artiste n in der 
Zirkuskuppel: ratios (Artists under the Big Top: Perplexed) (1967); Gelegenheitsarbeit 
einer Sklavin (Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave) (1973); Deutschland in Herbst 
(Germany in Autumn) (a collective film) (1977-78); Die Patriotin (The Female Patriot) 
( 1 979) ; Krieg und Frieden (War and Peace) (a collective film) ( 1982-83) ; Die Macht der 
Gefuhle (The Power of Emotion) (1983); Der Angriffder Gegenwart aufdie ubrige Zeit 
(The Blind Director) (1985); Vermischte Nachrichten (Miscellaneous News) ( 1986). 

•program notes by Brian Frye* 



WON'T YOU COME OUT AND PLAY,MY SEX BITCH GODDESS: 
NEW FILMS BY WOMEN 

CURATED AND PRESENTED BY MICHELLE HANDELMAN 
FILMMAKERS IN PERSON 

Thursday, June 8, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

RocketUpsbabblon (1995 ), by Annabel Lee; video, color, sound, 6 minutes 

A place where lava meets lips; gyrating and microscopic. RocketUpsbabblon is a 
transcendental journey through that space between lust and fear. 

StelUum in Capricorn (1994), by Georgia B. Wright; video, b/w, sound, 7 minutes 

A hauntingly beautiful S/M scene between four women recorded when the star Stellium 
was in Capricorn. As knives dissolve into faces and needles dissolve into skin, the pulse 
beats and the breath quickens. 



67 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

What Gets You Oj9?1994), by Danielle Massingale & Grace Giorgio; 

video, color, sound, 4 minutes 
A collage of answers to a simple question. (DM / SG) 

Engorge Gobble and Gulp ( 1994), by Lisa DiLillo; video, color, sound, 5 minutes 
A humorous allegory which critiques societal control over the female body; preoccupations 
with obtaining unrealistic body weight and the double standard of promiscuity. The 
'surprise narrator' discusses her favorite foods which is defy the low-fat diet suggested, in 
favor of more pleasurable foods. . .the subtext is clearly sex and guilt-free indulgence. (LD) 

Nyphomania (1994), by Tessa Hughes-Freeland with Holly Adams; 
S-8mm film (shown on video), b/w, sound, 8 minutes 

Everything starts out carefree and beautiful in the land of nymphs; yet evil lurks within the 
lust of the beast. A fairy tale where the sprightly nymph meets her match. 

Interior Scroll: the Cave ( 1995), by Carolee Schneemann & Maria Beatty ; 
video, color, sound, 7 minutes 

A recreation of Carolee Schneemann 's performance piece Interior Scroll in a very dark and 
moist contemporary world. 

Straight for the money: Interviews with Queer Sex Workers (1994) by Hima B.; 
video, color, sound, 59 minutes 

It is estimated that nearly 10% of women in the US engage in some form of sex work at 
some point in their lives. Presented from an insider, pro-sex worker point of view. Straight 
for the money: Interviews with Queer Sex Workers is about the observations and 
experiences of eight lesbian and bisexual women who work as lap dancers, peepshow 
dancers, and prostitutes in San Francisco. Bold and articulate, these women discuss the 
impact of sex work on their personal lives, feminist politics regarding the sex industry, and 
the need for a broader understanding of a greatly stereotyped and stigmatized occupation. 
Also included are "Sexperts" writer Joan Nestle, performance artist Annie Sprinke, writer 
Carol Queen, and the prostitutes' rights advocate and videomaker Carol Leigh AKA Scarlot 
Hariot. This documentary has been internationally acclaimed and is included in the 1995 
Whitney Biennial. (HB) 

Michelle Handelman is an award winning film and videomaker whose work has screened 
woridwide. Her current feature length film Blood Sisters, an experimental documentary on 
the lesbian S/M community, will be premiering at this year's Frameline Lesbian and Gay 
Film Festival. Her other titles {Homophobia is Known to Cause Nightmares, History of 
Pain, Catscan (with Monte Cazazza), and Sexual Techniques in the Age of Mechanical 
Reproduction) deal with the forbidden erotic and socio-political confines of our culture. A 
writer and photographer, as well as media artist, Handelman has curated and co-curated a 
number of programs at the San Francisco Cinematheque. 



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Program Notes 1995 



BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE/BEAUTIFUL FRIENDS 
LYNN HERSHMAN + FRIENDS IN PERSON 

Sunday, June 11, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

"Lynn Hershman-Leeson is regarded as the most influential female artist of 
new media. As early as the 1970s she worked with context, performance, 
public space and interactivity. Her video work incorporates surveillance, 
voyeurism and personal identity and her computer installations expand the 
possibilities of interactivity in art. " 

—Press Release from the Siemens/23CM Media Arts Prize 

Last month Lynn Hershman-Leeson received Germany's prestigious ZKM/Siemens 
International Media Award, This award is one of the most important in the field of Media 
Arts, and other 1995 recipients included British artist and filmmaker Peter Greenaway and 
French writer and philosopher Jean Baudrillard. Tonight the San Francisco Cinematheque 
is very happy to honor local artist Lynn Hershman-Leeson and to screen her most recent 
work. Beautiful People /Beautiful Friends, as well as short pieces by several of her recent 
collaborators and friends. 

An overview of Hershman's artistic career would fall into a number of distinctively eclectic 
categories ranging from photography, site-specific public art (including The Dante Hotel 
and 25 Windows: A Portrait of Bonwit Teller), interactive work and, in the last fifteen 
years, video. Her work ranges from physical concerns with context, performance, public 
space, and interactivity to political issues of surveillance, voyeurism, identity and 
"authenticity". 

Hershman's early experimental videos included Test Patterns and The Making of a Very 
Rough and (Very) Incomplete Pilot for Videodisc on the Life and Work of Marcel 
Duchamp, both of which showcased a new, fresh perspective on a relatively new visual 
medium. "Video was just being invented. There wasn't a language for it yet, which meant 
that there was the opportunity to participate in creating the language for this new form." 
(LH) Throughout the '80s Hershman expanded the emerging video form, creating the first 
interactive art videodisc LORN A (1979-83) which allowed viewers to access Loma's past 
and future by pressing buttons on a remote unit of the videodisc player. Holding that art is 
life and life is art, Hershman became the subject of her own work, recording several 
personal experiences in The Electronic Diary (1985-89) which includes Confessions of a 
Chameleon, Binge, and First Person Plural. This trilogy allowed her to obsessively 
analyze her life and provided a way of dealing with fragmented memory, bodily obsessions 
and repressed guilt. In her recent video pieces (including her 1989 faux documentary Long 
Shot and her 1993 feature-length Virtual Love), she has expanded her field of play to 
incorporate a variety of narrative and fictional elements along with her staples of personal 
confession and formal experimentation. 

Lynn Hershman's body of work includes over 51 videotapes and 4 interactive installations 
which have garnered many international awards. Last year she was the first woman to 
receive a tribute and retrospective at the San Francisco International Film Festival. She also 
received the Annie Gerber Award, a $50,000 commission from the Seattle Art Museum 
given every two years to a contemporary artist. Hershman was a Professor and Acting 
Director of the Inter-Arts Department at San Francisco State University for several years. 
She is currently a Professor of Electronic Art at the University of California, Davis. 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

Preceding the screening of Beautiful People/Beautiful Friends, the Cinematheque will show 
a number of videos made by some of Lynn Hershman's friends and collaborators from the 
past fifteen years. 

Case P'200 {\992), by Mia Lor Houlberg; video, color, sound, 1 1 minutes 

Case P-200 highlights a few moments salvaged from footage originally recorded at a 
Veteran Hospital in the 70s. 

Manifestoon (1994), by Jesse Drew; video, color, sound, 8 minutes 

Manifestoon is the product of sleepless nights and too much time spent working on 
documentary video productions. It explains the subversiveness of children and why editing 
is a political act. 

Mirror f Mirror (1987), by Paula Levine; video, color, sound 2 1/2 minutes 

Shot in Venice, California, Mirror, Mirror is a short vignette about viewing and being 
viewed. 

Love Between a Boy and a Girl ( 1995) a collaboration between RAP (Real Alternative 

Program) Youth, Dr. Francisco Gonzalez and Lisa Swenson; video, color, sound, 
20 minutes 

This short fictional narrative was designed as an HIV awareness educational video for 
youth. Following the lives of a group of Mission District teenagers, this collaborative piece 
addresses AIDS, gangs, substance abuse and violence. 

Excerpts from works by students at U.C. Davis. 

Beautiful People/ Beautiful Friends (1994), by Lynn Hershman; 
video, color, sound, 74 minutes 
Starring Johanna Schmidt and Colin Hayle, with music by Michael Edo Keane 

An idyllic scene of love and tranquillity transforms into a story of domestic violence and 
electronic surveillance. 

Lynn Hershman's new electronic interactive piece America's Finest is currently on view 
at the Paula Anglim Gallery through early July. 

•program notes by Geoff e Domenghini* 



BAY AREA WOMEN AT WORK 

NEW WORK BY LOCAL ARTISTS 

CURATED AND PRESENTED BY IRINA LEIMBACHER 

ARTISTS IN PERSON 

Thursday, June 15, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Tonight's program of new works by emerging Bay Area women filmmakers is an up-to- 
the-minute eclectic mix of experimental, documentary and short narrative work all recently 
out of the lab and onto the screen. The Cinematheque is honored to premiere several of 
these films and videos, and to present work by and to our own diverse and creative 
community! 



70 



Program Notes 1995 



In Passing (1995), by Elizabeth Sale; 16mm, b/w, sound 7 1/2 minutes 
What happens when we watch something closely for a long period of time? A static object 
seems to move. Something we don't ordinarily see, a very small and subtle movement can 
become significant and take on new meaning. (ES) 

automatic writing (1995), by Elise Hurwitz; 16mm, b/w, silent, 8 minutes 
Several of Freud's early case studies refused to speak under hypnosis. Freud would then 
ask then to write, believing this "automatic writing" from the unconscious would yield 
entry to his patients' psychological disturbances. The film automatic writing questions '^ 
whether writing from the unconscious would take on forms of language that exist in ' 
speech, or whether other symbols would supersede language, creating a writing of visual * 
memories. Automatic writing does not set up any code to decipher, just a path to follow. 
(EH) 

Wanderlust (1994), by Kim Wood; 16mm, b/w, sound, 4 minutes '^ 

A black and white collage of found footage and self portraiture. Wanderlust follows a 
young woman's search for self outside the (self-) imposed archetypes of "Maiden" and 
"Madwoman". A woman dangles from a trapeze, dances in a Victorian peepshow, rows 
frantically away from or toward an unknown landscape where she finds the imagined 
precipice has already been crossed. The act of filmmaking is the catalyst of her 
transcendence. (KW) 

Revision ( 1994), by Ghana Pollack; 16mm, b/w, sound, 4 minutes 

Revision is a filmic representation of my struggle to examine my memory of my 
grandmother and some of what she represented, against the grain of time. To do this I had 
to revise my vision and actively recreate this image of her, hence the title Revision. I had in 
mind the visual symbolism of a "yahrzeit" candle, the traditional Jewish lighting of a 
twenty-four hour candle to memorialize the death of a family member. I wanted to create 
something that would shed some light into the shadows of a faded life, to illuminate and 
ponder that existence and my own relationship to it. (CP) 

Recollection (1995), by Mary Trunk; 16mm, b/w, sound, 20 minutes 

Recollection is a search for childhood memories that are buried or are not often easy to 
recall. It is a film about re-collecting one's own memories from the fragments of others. 
The film explores the idea of a collective fabric of history from which we all extract our ' 
own stories and create our individual pasts. By incorporating home movie footage from my 
mother's childhood and juxtaposing it with contemporary footage and sound of two 
women reminiscing, I constructed a framework from which the viewer can spring. Each 
image, work or phrase has the possibility to spark a memory or past experience. And those 
individual histories can originate from the same source. (MT) 

T.E.M.P.S. (1995), by Jessica Fulton; video, color, sound, 10 minutes 

T.E.M.P.S. documents my community. It shows how people normally stereotyped as non- 
contributors or "bad" perform an acceptable societal role as the employee. It provides their* 

reflections on that role within society while remaining apart from it. (JF) J 

j- 

Miss Somebody (1994), by Mary Scott; 16mm, color, sound, 1 1 minutes 

Miss Somebody is a short, personal documentary film which presents children's views of 
their place in the quagmire of divorce and shared custody. All narration is by children who 
have experienced divorce in their families, and the film aims to illustrate the range of their 
feelings, from sadness to nostalgia to nonchalance. While wishing to make their voices 

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San Francisco Cinematheque 

heard, my own voice is strongly present. The questions asked, the editing and use of found 
footage are my way of attempting to make some sense of this difficult subject. I believe that 
humor and irony are not only appropriate responses to such a painful subject but logical 
ones. (MS) 

Mantra (1995), by Sheila Harrington; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 
Mantra explores the terrain where the psychological, spiritual, and political overlap. Its 
ultimate conclusion that contemporary pathological and political models are insufficient 
descriptive systems for addictive behaviors (which belie both basic human ritualistic needs 
and ecstatic spiritual impulses gone awry) contradicts current thinking about the ritual- 
fascism connection. (SH) 

Crabbing (1995), by Rose B. Martillano; 16mm, b/w, sound, 8 minutes 

The subtleties of territorial conflict and racial tension between an old Filipina woman and a 

young Caucasian man who simultaneously arrive at the Fort Mason Pier. (RM) 

The Angel ofWoolworth*s (1994), by Julie X. Black; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

The Angel ofWoolworth's tells of the romantic friendship between two women. Playing in 
a dimestore photo booth, the two create a hopeful tale about a girl and an angle. (JB) 

THE FILMMAKERS 
Elizabeth Sale is a filmmaker and installation/performance artist working in the Bay Area 
since 1989. She recently received her MFA in filmmaking from the San Francisco Art 
Institute, and her work has shown throughout the Bay Area and Santa Cruz County. • Elise 
Hurwitz has been making films for six years. She often works directly on the film surface 
and reworks those images on an optical printer. When she's not making her own films she 
helps everyone else make theirs over at Film Arts Foundation. • Kim Wood is a recent 
graduate of CCAC;s MFA program in film and photography. She is currently completing 
her second film, an homage to a 1920s daredevil motorcyclist tentatively titled Advice to 
Adventurous Girls. • Ghana Pollack is a Montreal bom/ Israel reared/ S.F. based 
filmmaker presently studying in the MFA program at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her 
film Revision has been screened at several venues and film festivals. • Mary Trunk is the 
Artistic Director of Trunk Co. Movement Theatre, which is dedicated to the invention and 
exploration of movement as a language and the incorporation of an interdisciplinary 
approach to theatre. Her most recent works investigate the movements and gestural 
language that exist between people. • Jessica Fulton is a junior at UC Berkeley majoring 
in American Studies. T.E.M.P.S. is her first film, made as a final project for her 
documentary class. • Mary Scott is a single parent with a passionate interest in film who 
turned forty the semester that she started film school. She has finished two films on family 
issues and has taught several courses in film production and studies. Zoe, her daughter, is 
an immeasurable help, starring in Mom's films, assisting with graphics and credits, and 
giving insight into what the work looks like to an eleven year-old. • Shelia Harrington is 
currently an MFA student at SFSU and Mantra is her first film. • Rose B. Martillano 
recently completed a BA in Cinema at SFSU, with an emphasis in Writing and Directing. 
During this one year program, she developed, shot and completed her film Crabbing. 
She's now getting ready to relocate to Los Angeles to continue her film education at 
UCLA. • Julie X. Black makes films about her three favorite things— girls, kissing and 
kissin' girls. 



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Program Notes 1995 

TIME BOMB! 
JOHN MUSE AND JEANNE C. FlNLEY IN PERSON 

Sunday, June 18, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

■% 

Conversations Across The Bosphorous ( 1995) by Jeanne C. Finley ; 
video, color, sound, 42 minutes 

Conversations Across The Bosphorous intertwines the narratives of two Muslim women \ 
from Istanbul: Gokeen, from an orthodox Islamic family, takes off the veil after years of \ 
struggle and Min^, from a secular family, discovers the roots of her faith living as an ' 
immigrant in San Francisco. Through poetic voices they demonstrate how their relationship 
to their faith shaped and determined their personal lives. 

Set on the banks of the Bosphorous, the narrow waterway that divides the Asian and 
European continents. Conversations Across The Bosphorous suggests that the relation of 
personal faith to cultural and political structures is one of the most critical issues in both the 
Islamic and Christian worlds. Gokeen immigrated with her devout family to Istanbul from 
an Anatolian village and reveals how her personal life reflects the larger cultural dilemma of 
a city being torn apart in a struggle to maintain its secular government against the rapid 
growth of Islamic Fundamental power. Min^, from an established Istanbul family, left 
Turkey ten years ago and writes from San Francisco of her memories of growing up in a 
city that since her departure has gone through a radical transformation in political structure, 
unprecedented population growth and environmental destruction. « 

In conjunction with evocative visual imagery, sound and lively debate, these narratives 
question the possibility of continued peaceful coexistence between groups of opposing 
ideologies in a relentless urban landscape. 

Time Bomb{ 1995) by John Muse and Jeanne C. Finley; 
video, color, sound 9 1/2 minutes 

Time Bomb tells the story of a young girl's experience at a Baptist retreat where she is 
called upon to accept Jesus into her life. This piece explores memory, the power of crowds 
and rituals of conversion. It is the first segment of a work in progress, O night without 
objects, being developed during an artist-in-residency at Xerox's Palo Alto Research 
Center. The last two segments, / want to meet you, dear lady, and Blacky 's Day will 
follow. 

WORK PRACTICE AND TECHNOLOGY GROUP 

''Time Bomb will be followed by a brief presentation by Lucy Suchman, Randy Trigg, and 
Jeanette Blomberg, members of Xerox PARC's Work Practice and Technology (WPT) 
group. The Work Practice and Technology area at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center is 
composed of four anthropologists and two computer scientists. We combine studies of 
everyday work with experimentation in new approached to technology development. We 
take our inspiration from recent directions in science and technology studies and from 
participatory forms of system design. 

Our presentation questions the relations between our own documentary practice as 
researchers interested in the social and material bases of how people work, and the working 
practices of Jeanne C. Finley and John Muse. In contract with familiar distinctions of 
analyst and subject, our encounter has marked by a reflexive interchange across the roles of 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

ethnographer and video artist. We illustrate those boundary crossings with a collection of 
video sequences drawn from our collaboration to date." (— WPT) 

Jeanne C. Finley is an artist who works with photography and video. She is the Associate 
Dean of Media Studies at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Her work has been 
exhibited internationally including the Museum of Modem Art in New York, the George 
Pompidou Center in Paris, and at the 1993 and 1995 Whitney Biennial. Jeanne's 
videotapes have been broadcast on PBS stations in the United States, as well as, on Open 
Sky Television throughout Europe, Canadian Television and Japan TV. She has been the 
recipient of several grants including a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for 
the Arts Fellowships and the Phelan Award in Video. 

Jeanne's video credits include: Common Mistakes ( 1986); At the Museum: A Pilgrimage of 
Vanquished Objects (1989); Involuntary Conversion (1991); and A.R.M. Around Moscow 
(1993).. These tapes have won awards at international festivals and during 1990 Jeanne 
received a Fulbright Fellowship to Yugoslavia where she directed programs for Radio/TV 
Belgrade, in 1994 she was an artist-in-residence in Istanbul, Turkey through a grant from 
the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Foundation. 

John Muse is an artist and writer, he has taught at California College of Arts and Crafts 
and San Francisco State University. His writings have appeared in Cinematho graph, 
Artspace, and the City Lights Review. He is currently an artist-in-residence at the Xerox 
Palo Alto Research Center. 



IN MEMORIAM: WARREN SONBERT 
A TRIBUTE TO HIS LIFE AND WORK 

Thursday, June 22, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

"It's in time that the structure ofSonbert's 'looking at things' begins to 
appear. It's through time that the structure beings to work on our body, 
mind, blood, heart, lungs. And then I walk the streets happy, smog or no 
smog. A good movie, good art cleans out the smog of our minds. All the 
talk today against art is nothing but a social smog and I don 't want any 
part of it. You can liberate your pot, if you wish; I get high on music; or on 
the clear, unpretentious films of Warren Sonbert; or by looking at a brown 
leaf falling from a tree. " 

—Jonas Mekas, Movie Journal (NovembeT 19, 1970) 

On May 31, 1995 Warren Sonbert died from complications due to AIDS, tragically cutting 
short the life and work of one of the Bay Area's most widely celebrated independent film 
artists and film advocates. This evening the San Francisco Cinematheque pays tribute to 
Warren Sonbert with a screening of three of his rarely shown early films and a reception in 
honor of his memory. 

For almost three decades, Warren Sonbert has been celebrated as one of the most 
innovative and prolific filmmakers of independent cinema. The subject of several Whitney 
retrospectives, a lauded educator and recipient of countless festival awards both in the 
United States and abroad, Warren Sonbert has fixed his permanent place in the history of 
cinema side by side with all the other great works of film art. Together with such artists as 



74 



Program Notes 1995 

Jonas Mekas, Andrew Noren and Stan Brakhage, Sonbert began his career in the mid- 
sixties, with films that reflected the social and cultural lifestyle that accompanied the artistic 
breakthroughs of the time. He crafted films that look at the worked with a sensitive, 
reflexive eye. Alms that gaze without flinching both at his own daily life and that of his 
friends, acquaintances and those who casually pass before his camera's lens. Throughout : 
the seventies and early eighties, Sonbert continued to explore this new visual language and 
helped forge new relationships between place and time through the properties of the film 
medium. Sonbert's ever broadening interpretive vision and reflexive discourse of the diary 
has helped to both transform and disrupt our conditioned viewing patterns, creating an 
emotional urgency and a need to continually question the relationship of image and 
perception, sight and cognition. "As viewers we are carried silently around Sonbert's 
country and world, yet the recorded film image transcends the specificity of a moment in 
time and becomes part of an aesthetic whole, an interpretation and rendering of out world." ^ 
(J.G. Hanhardt) --^ 

Introductory Remarks 

Steve Anker, Director, San Francisco Cinematheque 
Carla Harryman, Poet and Playwright 
Danny Mangin, Critic and Film Historian 

Hall of Mirrors (1996); 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes 

Made when Sonbert was in his teens. Hall of Mirrors stems from the filmmaker's early = 
experiences and involvement within the "Warhol scene". A documentary exploration of 
Warhol's famous mirrored room at the original factory, this work utilizes crude, i 
underexposed, hand-held portraiture shots of two Warhol "superstars" and rivals them with ) 
various outtakes from a 1948 Hollywood melodrama. 

"In the casual juxtaposition of three distinct sequences Sonbert nails the psychological and , 
historical connection between the solipsistic narcissism of his own generation and the 
hysteria and despair of its parents at their dawning recognition of the trap of the nuclear 
family. The underpinnings of Sonbert's vocabulary as a filmmaker are all here. Combining 
dated with contemporary footage reflects his sense of film as a historic artifact. . .The hall of 
mirrors suggests the regression of time— how the immediacy of the recording process is 
distance first by editing and subsequently through successively removed screenings so that 
today Hall of Mirrors is all of a piece, both prophecy and ancient history." 

—Amy Taubin, Village Voice (January 27, 1987) 

Truth Serum (1967); 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

Another film from the beginning of his career. Truth Serum is in Warren's words " an : 
early teenage weekend film.... From the rock and roll period: 50s girl groups and 'the High > 
& Mighty 'theme." (WS) 

Carriage Trade {\9n\)\ 16mm, color, silent, 61 minutes 

Often cited as one of the most original and beautiful films of the avant-garde. Carriage 
Trade is arranged musically with brilliantly framed compositions and swirling camera 
movements creating a visual symphony of Sonbert's travels and experiences. In a startling 
juxtaposition of familiar and exotic imagery, Sonbert compares the surfaces of his images 
and is able to establish a basic sympathy between them. His emphasis on color, light, 
texture and movement brings these images together and transcends their diary content, 
resulting in an uniquely cinematic forms. 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

"A 16mm 60 minute six year compilation of travels, home movies, and documents shown 
silent. Not strictly involved with plot or morality but rather the language of film as regards 
time, composition, cutting, light, distance, tension of backgrounds to foregrounds, what 
you see and what you don't, a jigsaw puzzle of post cards to produce varied displaced 
effects. Contrapuntal textures in using eight of so different stocks of film— color and b/w, 
negative and dyed shots. Film as music without music, each shot a cluster of notes striking 
a reaction in the view. Editing does not qualify positions of good or bad; it's all just there. 
Although there is both a flow and a contrast between shots, an image may not directly refer 
to the shot that has preceded it but rather perhaps to several shots before. Film takes in the 
changing relations of the movements of objects, the gestures of figures, familiar worldwide 
icons, rituals and reactions, rhythm, spacing and density of images. All to pull the carpet 
out from under you." (WS) 

Warren Sonbert filmography 

Amphetamine (1966); 16mm, b/w, sound, 10 minutes: Where Did Our Love Go? (1966); 
16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes: Hall of Mirrors (1966); 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes: 
The Tenth Legion (1967); 16mm, color, sound, 30 minutes: Truth Serum (1967); 16mm, 
color, sound, 10 minutes: The Bad and the Beautiful (1967); 16mm, color sound, 35 
minutes: Connections (1967); 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes, Ted & Jessica (1967); 
16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes: Holiday (1968); 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes: 
Carriage Trade (1971); 16mm, color/b/w, silent, 61 minutes: Rude Awakening (1975); 
16mm, color, silent, 36 minutes: Divided Loyalties (1978); 16mm, color, silent, 22 
minutes: Noblesse Oblige (1981); 16mm, color, silent, 25 minutes: A Woman's Touch 
(1983); 16mm, color, silent, 22 minutes: The Cup and the L//? (1986); 16mm, color, silent, 
20 minutes: Honor and Obey (1988); 16mm, color, silent, 21 minutes: Friendly Witness 
(1989) 16mm, color, silent, 32 minutes: Short Fuse (1991); 16mm, color, sound, 37 
minutes. 

•program notes by Todd Wagner* 



FACING EDEN: BAY AREA LANDSCAPE IN FILM ART-1 

San Francisco's Undulating Skyline 

Wednesday July 5, 1995 — M.H. de Young Memorial Museum 

In conjunction with the San Francisco Cinematheque, throughout the month of July the 
de Young museum presents a series of film programs reflecting the personal, poetic and 
adventurous ways in which film artists have incorporated characteristics of the Bay Area's 
landscape into their creative work over the last forty years. 

Tonight's program focuses on the physical and the spatial nature of San Francisco's 
skyline. The hills and light of San Francisco create a continuous visual adventure in urban 
space; buildings and streets rove in height and depth as the open sky shifts from spot to 
spot. Nothing quite stays as it first appears. 

Panorama (1982), by Michael Rudnick; 16mm, color, sound by Rick Ross, 13 minutes 
"(A) joyous evocation of San Francisco in a 'cinepoetic' essay. Twelve months are distilled 
into twelve and one-half minutes through lapse time photography. Billowing clouds and 
arching suns are seen in leisurely sweeps of view as the days boil and cool before our eyes. 



76 



Program Notes 1995 

In speed time, the Goodyear blimp darts over the skyline like a fish buzzing a tropical reef. 
Lyrical strength and a sense of wonder lift Panorama above mere trickery." 

—Anthony Reveaux, AriWeek 

Michael Rudnick is a San Francisco filmmaker and artist who has been making films and 
teaching since the 1970s. His multi-media installations have been on display in museums 
and galleries throughout the Bay Area and other parts of the U.S. Rudnick currently has a 
display on view at the Exploratorium. 

Spring (1991), by Thomas Korschil; 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes 
To move the world (and thus the mind!) with one's eyes, to put (part oQ it into a box (like 
we do) and shake it, gently, as to bring its (the world's, the mind's) particles to life 
(again), for the first time, to seek some sense out of it— "all." 

A souvenir; capturing (in vain!) time (lost), passing us by like the shadow of a fast moving 
cloud. (Inertia!) Still, a "sweet film.'" (TK) 

Thomas Korschil is a filmmaker who lives in Vienna, Austria and studied filmmaking at the 
San Francisco Art Institute. Korschil curates and lectures on film art at museums and 
universities throughout Austria. 

Same Difference {1915), by Al Wong; 16mm, color, sound by Terry Fox, 17.5 minutes i 

"A film structured around two windows overlooking the changing San Francisco skyline, ' 
involves different kinds of time lapses and sophisticated juxtapositions of movements such 
as the uninterrupted action of drinking a glass of water over dramatically changing skies. At 
times the lapses occur in separate windows or even in different areas inside the windows." 

— Vincent Grenier 

Al Wong is Professor of film-making and inter-disciplinary art at the San Francisco Art 
Institute. He has exhibited films throughout Europe and Canada, and has experimented 
with environmental art and the borders between projected image, projection space, and the 
frame of the frame. 

The Man Who Could Not See Far Enough, Part V ( 1981) by Peter Rose; 

The Man Who Could Not See Far Enough uses literary, structural, autobiographical, and 
performance metaphors to construct a series of tableaux that evoke the act of vision, the 
limits of perception, and the rapture of space. Spectacular moving multiple images; a 
physical almost choreographic sense of camera movement; and massive, resonant sound 
have inspired critics to call it "stunning" and "hallucinatory". The film ranges in subject 
from a solar eclipse to an ascent of the Golden Gate Bridge, and moves, in spirit, from the 
deeply personal to the mythic. (PR) 

Peter Rose was trained in mathematics and is a professor at the Philadelphia College of Art. 
His installation, performance, film and video work has shown at the Museum of Modem 
Art in New York, and is in the archives of the Australian National Film Library. 

SidelWaUd Shuttle (1991) by Ernie Gehr; 16mm, color, sound, 40 minutes 

Part of the initial inspiration for this film was an outdoor glass elevator and some of the 
visual, spatial and gravitational possibilities it presented me with. The work was also 
informed by an interest in panoramas and the urban landscape. In this latter respect Edward 
Muybridge's photographic panoramas of San Francisco from the 1870s as well as the over- 
all topography of the city itself were sources of inspiration. Finally, the shape and character 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

of the work was tempered by reflections upon a lifetime of displacement, moving from 
place to place, and haunted by recurring memories of other places, other possibly yet 
unlikely "homes" I once passed through. (EG) 

Ernie Gehr is Professor of filmmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute whose work 
examines playful borders of perception in the unique physical and psychological (s)pace of 
cinema. Gehr has shown at the George Pompidou Center in Paris, the Museum of Modem 
Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art and others. 



On view in Trustees* Auditorium between 6:15 and 7:00p.m. 

Landscape No. 1: Outside the gold frame y Inside the car window (1995) 

by Lynn M. Kirby; 16mm film installation with gilt frames, walls and sandbags. 
P^ of a series of landscape pieces shot over the last ten years 

The following people and organizations have generously helped with this project: Stephen 
Rogers, Paul Bridenbaugh, Sarah Filley, Joe Reorda, David Rosburg, The Point and 
Monaco Lab. 

Lynn Kirby is an installation, film and video artist who is Professor of film, video, and 
performance at the California College of Arts and Crafts. She has shown her work widely 
throughout Europe and North America. Kirby had a one-person retrospective of her films 
at the Museum of Modem Art, New York in February of 1995. 



FACING EDEN: BAY AREA LANDSCAPE IN FILM ART--2 
SCALES OF GRANDEUR: HUMAN AND NATURAL INTERFACES 

Wednesday July 12, 1995 — M.H. de Young Memorial Museum 

The visual beauty of the Bay Area's diverse natural landscape ranges from hills to streams, 
from cliffs to gentle horizons, and all are impacted by the region's singular light and 
atmospheric conditions. Tonight's four films reflect on this natural landscape through the 
people's interactions and responses to it. 

Span (1968), By William Allan and Bruce Nauman; 16mm, color, silent, 10 minutes 

Span is one in a series of several unedited camera-roll films from William Allan and Bruce 
Nauman made in 1968 which documented actions growing out of their friendship and 
shared concerns. They intended to give '"ugly things, things otherwise overlooked, 
importance." (WA) 

Here they constmct a simple device— made from wood and painted forest green— to 
measure air currents which can't be seen but which coarse over and coincide with running 
water. 

Bruce Nauman is a widely celebrated American artist, whose many mediums include neon, 
sculpture, performance, film, video, and conceptual pieces. He recently had a one-man 
retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art. 

William Allan is a painter, assemblagist and filmmaker who has lived in the Bay Area most 
of his life, attending the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1950s. His work has been 



78 



,^j. Program Notes 1995 

shown at most major museums of contemporary art in the United States, with a recent one- 
man show at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento in 1994. 

Seasonal Forces - A Sonoma County Almanac ( 1995) by Janis Crystal Lipzin; 
S-8mm, color, sound, 18 minutes 

The first section of an ongoing work exploring the conjunction of human and natural forces 
being played out in rural areas everywhere, especially in Northern California. In this and 
future sections of Seasonal Forces, I allude to current land use controversies such as the 
dissonance between agricultural homesteads and tract developments; decades-old gardens 
destined to be abandoned to bulldozers, and the transmutation of orchards into vineyards. 
In Aldo Leopold's 1949 classic conservationist's memoir A Sand County Almanac, he 
posed: ^ 

We face the question whether a still higher standard of living 
is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. 

His assertions precede and inform my work in which I attempt to understand what it means 
to cultivate a sense of place. (JCL) 

Janis Crystal Lipzin is on the film faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is currently 
working on a book documenting women pioneers of independent filmmaking. Lipzin's 
film screenings include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Filmforum in Los 
Angeles, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and her installations have shown widely 
throughout the Bay Area. 

Survival Run (1978), by Robert Charlton; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 

Survival Run is the story of two men and an ordeal. It's about Harry Cordellos, a blind 
man who runs over Mt. Tamalpas in the 8-mile Dipsea race. One of the most difficult 
cross-country courses in the world, the Dipsea weaves precariously up and down mountain 
trails and along the edges of cliffs, beginning at Mill Valley and ending at Stinson Beach. 

"The Dipsea race is like life.. .you don't win it.. .you survive it." 

—Harry Cordellos 

"I shall not be overshooting my mark if I say that Survival Run has the deepest symbolic 
undertones. It is about humanity, about man's linking up with his fellow being, and it is 
about all those qualities which are noble and human." 

— Dnyaneshwar Nadkami, The Economic Times, Bombay 

Robert Charlton is a filmmaker living in Berkeley. In addition to Survival Run, for which 
he received a Best Director Award at LA's Filmex , he has directed the cable television 
feature No Big Deal and numerous short films and documentaries, including The Making 
ofJedi and Songs of a Distant Jungle. 

Running Fence {\97S), by David Maysles, Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin; 16mm, 
color, sound, 58 minutes 

A portrait of one man's persistence. Running Fence documents the Bulgarian-bom artist's 
efforts to build a twenty-four-and-a-half-mile-long, eighteen-foot-high fence of white fabric 
across the hills of California. Since the late 1950's Christo's large-scale temporary works 
of art have helped change our perception of art and society. In 1962, when the Maysles 
brothers first met him in Paris, they immediately recognized a kindred spirit. As David 
Maysles said: "Christo comes up with an idea that at first seems impossible, then lets it 



79 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

grow; so do we." Albert Maysles agrees: "Both Christo's projects and our films are 
Outrageous acts of faith." 

"The Maysles first collaboration with Christo was Valley Curtain (1974), an Academy 
Award nominee. Running Fence followed in 1978. Both dramatic and poetic, this 
engrossing documentary tracks Christo's struggles with local ranchers, environmentalists 
and state bureaucrats. To some, it sounded absurd: a three-million dollar fence, made of 
nylon, designed to be in place for two weeks, then taken down? Despite Christo's 
perseverance, opposition seemed insurmountable— until at last the fence was unfurled, 
reuniting the community in celebration of beauty." 

—Maysles Films (1978) 

Christo's most recent work involved the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, in a million 
square feet of polypropylene fabric. Steve Weisman remarked in the New York Times that 
"Like all of Christo's projects, it is transitory, rendering his vision both arrogant and 
modest. The landscape always returns to its original state." 



On view in Trustees' Auditorium between 6:15 and 7:00p.m. 

Landscape No. 2: Selection from. 36 hours on 24th Street{ 1992/95), by Paula Levine; 
video, color, sound, 24 minutes 

36 hours on 24th Street is one in a series of twenty-four hour video portraits of time in 
place. The subject here is the comer of 24th Street and Folsom, in San Francisco's Mission 
District; the view below Levine's studio. Time and place are sampled as the camera records 
one second, every minute for 36 hours. 

Paula Levine is a Canadian- American photographer and videomaker. Her work has been 
seen in festivals and exhibitions in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Canada, 
including LA Freewaves, SECA Video Invitational at the San Francisco Museum of 
Modem Art and the National Gallery of Canada. She will be a visiting artist this fall in 
Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

•program notes by Jeffrey Lambert* 



FACING EDEN: BAY AREA LANDSCAPE IN FILM ART-3 
LIGHT ENERGIES: LANDSCAPES OF THE MIND 

Wednesday July 19, 1995 — M.H. de Young Memorial Museum 

Tonight's program focuses on the relationship between the San Francisco landscape and 
the individual psyche. These films offer a timeline of fantasies and reveries inspired by the 
Bay Area as a place of discovery. 

Four in the Afternoon (1951), by James Broughton; 16mm, b/w, sound, 15 minutes 
"Four poetic variations on the search for love; four odd characters living out their 
daydreams: Game little Gladys, The Gardener's Son, Princess Printemps, and the Aging 
Balletomane. Based on Broughton's own poems, this film blends image, music and verse 
in moods from the farcical to the elegiac." 

— Canyon Cinema Catalog #7 



80 



Program Notes 1995 



'Lovely and Delicious, true cinematic poetry."— Dylan Thomas 



James Broughton was one of the key figures in the post-war San Francisco Renaissance as 
a poet, filmmaker and social force. Broughton has published several volumes of poetry and 
has made over 15 films in his 50 year career. His memoirs "Coming Unbound" were 
published in 1993. 

Beat (1958), by Christopher MacLaine; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 

"MacLaine was known around town and had gained a reputation as San Francisco's 
Artaud. He worked with a kind of dedication to madness. How intrinsic this was to his 
behavior can be seen in his films... 

As one looks at his film Beat, one sees more of the humor in his camera movements. 
People are made to walk fast and look jerky in his films, and this is intentional humor; he 
was not content to shoot at eight frames per second— he skips frames so that people skip 
ridiculously in a way that rhythmically captures their intrinsic self-centeredness...One can 
look at this as humorous or as unbearably horrible. If you can regard it as both delightful 
and horrifying, you are close to the balance that makes MacLaine an artist. To me Beat 
evokes that era to a T— beautifully precisely, wittily and terrifyingly." 

— Stan Brakhage, Film at Wit's End {19S9) 

Christopher MacLaine was an influential poet, publisher, and filmmaker of San Francisco's 
underground Beat era. MacLaine left a legacy of four visionary films, though he dies in 
obscurity during the 1970s. 

All My Life (1966), by Bruce Baillie; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

"...it was the quality of the light for three summer days in Caspar, California, up the coast 
where Tulley lived. It looked like Cork, Ireland used to... It was inspired by the light (every 
day is unique as you know), and by the early Teddy Wilson/Ella Fitzgerald recording, 
which was always playing in Tulley's little cabin, with its condemnation sign on it." 

—Bruce Baillie, interview with Scott McDonald in A Critical Cinema 2 ( 1992) 

In 1961 Bruce Baillie and Chick Strand founded Canyon Cinema, one of America's 
premier distributor/exhibitors of personal film. He has made some of the most widely 
admired films of independent cinema and Castro Street has been recognized by the 
American Film Institute as a Landmark of American Film History. Baillie continues to 
work in film and video. 

Looking for Mushrooms (\96l-61), by Bruce Conner; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

"Looking for mushrooms in San Francisco and in Mexico and filmed and edited from 
hundreds of feet of film multiple-exposed and single-framed inside the camera. Finally cut 
to 100 foot length in 1965 to run perpetually in a never-ending cartridge projector. John 
Lennon made the music m 1967." 

— Canyon Cinema Catalog #7 

"Make no mistake, this is not simply a peyote documentary or a travelogue of Conner's 
Mexican sojourn; nor is this simply a 'trip' movie. He titles his film accurately, so don't 
forget the word 'looking' in the title. It is partly a word of instruction to the audience. We 
should be looking for mushrooms, mushroom shapes, references to mushrooms, peyote 
buttons, etc., throughout our experience of the film." 

—Stan Brakhage, Film at Wit's End (1989) 



81 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Bruce Conner is one of the most respected and versatile living American visual artist 
working in collage, sculpture, photography, film, and more. Bruce Conner lives in San 
Francisco and has been a major influence on filmmakers for the last two generations. 

The Great Blondino (1967), by Robert Nelson & William T. Wiley; 
16mm, color, sound, 42 minutes 

"On a formal level, Blondino is a long, never resolved dialogue between it's protagonist's 
inner and outer worlds, between film as a material and film as representation, between art 
and entertainment. Like a dream, it continually strives to embody two contradictory 
readings within the same composite structure. The recorded image is frequently effaced by 
distortive lenses, prisms, and superimpositions, just as narrative is often submerged by 
eruptive digressions or suggestions that each film is Blondino's dream." 

-J. Hoberman, Nelson/Wiley (19^79) 

I was lucky, lived in S.F. during an exciting time.. .met some inspirational artists... had lots 
of help... was able to crank out a couple of films that I am very proud of. (RN) 

Robert Nelson was one of San Francisco's most daring filmmakers of the 1960's who 
worked with artists ranging from William Wiley to composer Steve Reich. Nelson founded 
the filmmaking program at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960's and continues 
to make films and videos in Milwaukee. 

William T. Wiley is known primarily as a painter. Wiley was a long-term resident of San 
Francisco and made numerous films, mostly with Nelson in the 60s and early 70s. 

/ Change I Am the Same (1969), by Alice Ann Parker(a.k.a. Anne Severson); 
16mm, b/w, sound, 40 seconds 

"A short, hilarious film of a woman and a man in various states of undress— in their own 
and each other's clothing." 

— Canyon Cinema Catalog #7 

"As a filmmaker, Anne Severson was a product of the sixties, especially the sixties reaction 
to an earlier Puritanism about the body. For many sixties artists the body was a territory in 
need of liberation." 

— Scott McDonald, A Critical Cinema 2 ( 1992) 

Alice Ann Parker had a brief filmmaking career in the late 60s to the mid 70s while living in 
San Francisco. Parker's work focused on the human body, especially as it relates to gender 
and sexuality. She continues to be active as an artist and shaman living in Hawaii. 

Women's Rites or Truth is the Daughter of Time (1974), by Barbara Hammer; 
16mm, color, sound 

"An autumnal celebration of colorful fall leaves, brooks and bathing, chanting circles and 
tree goddess rites. Shot on witch's land in Northern California, it is a woman celebrating 
woman and nature with the poetry of Elsa Gidlow accompanying." 

— Canyon Cinema Catalog #7 

Barbara Hammer is one of the most prolific and versatile living independent film and video 
makers. Hammer is a long time resident of San Francisco who has completed over 40 
works in both mediums, ranging from the experimental to essay. She is a tireless champion 
and teacher of personal, independent cinema. 



82 



Program Notes 1995 



On view in the Trustees' Auditorium between 6:] 5 and 7:00p.m. 

Landscape No. 3: C to C— Several Centuries After the Double Slit Experiment (1995), 
by Lynn Kirby, 16mm film installation with C stands, gobo arms, flags and 
sandbags. 

The following people and organizations have generously helped with this project: Stephen 
Rogers; Cinematographic Consultant, Joplin Wu; Andy Black; Assistant Camera, Loma 
Leslie; Installation crew, Morgan Barnard, Sarah Filley, Judith Pfeifer, and C Whiteside; 
sound, David Jaffe. 



FACING EDEN: BAY AREA LANDSCAPES IN FILM ART-4 
LIFE FLOWS IN THE MODERN WORLD 

Wednesday July 26, 1995 — M.H. de Young Memorial Museum 

The constant motion of human activity and changing forms creates a visual surface that » 
bends and reshapes itself from moment to moment. The films in tonight's program 
expressively reveal the fluid quality of San Francisco time and space. 

Delugion (1982), by Michael Rudnick; 16mm, color, sound, 4 minutes 

"Modem day lemmings are unleashed across the screen in a 'stream of unconsciousness.'" 

— Canyon Cinema Catalog #7 

Michael Rudnick is a San Francisco filmmaker and artist who has been making films and 
teaching since the 1970s. His multi-media installations have been on display in museums 
and galleries throughout the Bay Area and other parts of the U.S. Rudnick currently has a 
display on view at the Exploratorium. 

Last Gasp ( 1981), by Jacalyn L. White; super 8mm, color, sound, 18 minutes 

A dusk-till-dawn document of the dying gasp of my beloved Kodak Supermatic 200. (JW) ■ 

Jacalyn White was on the staff of the San Francisco Art Institute Filmmaking Department 
for nearly ten years, and her body of fifteen films have been shown extensively throughout 
the United States. She has specialized in films which explore sync relationships between 
sound and picture, particularly as recorded on super-8mm and through landscape studies. ^ 

Visions of a City (1957-1978), by Larry Jordan; 16mm, sepia, sound, 8 minutes 

"The protagonist, poet Michael McClure, emerges from the all-reflection imagery of glass 
shop and car windows, bottles, mirrors, etc. in scenes which are also accurate portraits of ' 
both McClure and the city of San Francisco in 1957. At the same time it is a lyric and 
mystical film, building to a crescendo of rhythmically intercut shots of McClure's face, 
seemingly trapped on the glazed surface of the city. Music by William Moraldo." 

— Canyon Cinema Catalog #7 ' 

Larry Jordan was a central figure in San Francisco experimental cinema in the late fifties^ 
and throughout the sixties. He worked with Christopher MacLaine, Jordan Belson, and 
others in addition to programming films during these years. He has been on the faculty of 
the San Francisco Art Institute since the 1960s, and his own film work has contributed * 
immeasurably to the art of cut-out animation. 



83 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

By the Sea (1982), by Toney Merritt; 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes 

A film made from my old studio apartment on Telegraph Hill. A portrait of sorts. (TM) 

Toney Merritt is a filmmaker, teacher, and script writer who has taught at Humboldt State, 
California College of Arts and Crafts, and who has programmed numerous series of films 
by independent black filmmakers for theaters throughout California 

Pacific Far East Lines (1979), by Abigail Child; 16mm, color, silent, 12 minutes 

An urban landscape film constructed from material gathered over two years looking out at 
downtown San Francisco. The elements 'folded' and mixed. Time redefines Space: the 
erector and the helicopter appear as toys within a schizy motor-oil-ized ballet mechanique. 
(AC) 

Abigail Child is a poet, composer, filmmaker and theorist whose writings and films have 
been represented throughout North America and Europe. Child specializes in new forms of 
sound and image editing/collaging, and her major cycle of seven films. Is This What You 
Were Born For? is a landmark in creative sound filmmaking. 

Crossing the Bar {1992), by Andrew Black; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 

Crossing the Bar is a portrait of longshoreman working on the docks of San Francisco. It 
is that rare film which blends information about people's lives and work with evocative 
images which enrich the meaning of what is being conveyed. 

Andrew Black is a freelance professional working in the San Francisco film industry who 
also makes his own personal films. 

Fearfiil Symmetry (1981), by Michael Wallin; 16mm, color, silent, 15 minutes 

Uses precisely (mathematically) determined single-framing to give movement to static 
space, to give life and energy to solid objects, to duplicate/mimic the eye's true movement 
to forcefully bring to consciousness an inherent symmetry and balance in the visual field. 
Images: deadened railroad tracks, ice plant fields, Bethlehem Steel smokestack. Canyon 
Cinema office, back porch clouds and sky, PG&E plant at Moss Landing. . . (MW) 

"Wallin imputes the foundation of an imagistic world through discontinuous static 
displacement pans, flash framing the blindness persistent in vision, emptying out the 
subject-as-limit into the subjectlessness of seeing." 

— Robert Fulton, SFAI Film Festival Judge 

Michael Wallin has been a fixture in the Bay Area's avant-garde film community for over 
twenty years, including stints as a film instructor at California College of Arts and Crafts 
and manager of Canyon Cinema for most of the 80s. 

Cable Car Melody {\9S6), by Charies Wright; 16mm, color, sound, 26 minutes 
You will look down Hyde Street and see San Francisco Bay in the background. In the 
foreground a cable car will move across the surface of the screen, while almost everything 
else will change, from shot to shot, to create a melody. (CW) 

Charies Wright is a collage artist, graphic artist and filmmaker whose works have been 
exhibited in galleries in New York City as well as San Francisco. He has also collected 
10(X)s of images taken from catalogues printed over the last 1(X) years, pictures postcards, 
and found images. 



84 



Program Notes 1995 



On view in Trustees ' Auditorium from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. 

East/West ( 1 993-94), by Paula Levine 

East/West is a portrait of a hill in Woodside, California made with two cameras— one on 
the west side facing east and the other, on the east side facing west— each camera records 
one second every minute for 24 hours. 

East/West is one in a series of 24 hour portraits of time in place. 



INTRIGUE 



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piiuidcs o iiiiiiiiic v.xilidii^c of ideas thai is inifiiatchcii finynhcic else in the Ihiileil Stolen. " 



(innvof NfWin, FilmmaVrr 
Schtttrrrftint: »n<l Rr^ Shift 



We believe that art should 
be a meaningful part of 
everyone's life. and that the 
creative experiences offered 
by film and video far exceed 
ihose available through com- 
mercial cinema or television 




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viih'ocoinniunily." 



the experimental film and video 
community is international in 
scope, and our responsibility to 
the field has greatly expanded 
We're sought out by 
media professionals 
from throughout the 
world to help develop 
programs of american 
films and tapes for 

PRESENTATION ABROAD 



l)J^i(^( utiH 

Film »n<) ViHfo Odicn, 

AtH OMincil nf (WmI BfiUin 



There are no monopolies on creativity or pre- 
scriptions FOR the forms it TAKES. DIVERSE 
FORMAL APPROACHES. CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS 
AND ARTISTIC VISIONS — ALL ARE WELCOME REPRE- 
SENTATIVES OF THE MANY VOICES THAT MAKE UP 
SAN FRANCISCO'S VIBRANT CULTURAL LIFE. 



"();)(• of the iliin\is I've olwoys 
appiecinleil about the 
('iin'mallieifiie is the way 
that it's open too with 
variety of works from the 
mariiins, that it's more inter- 
ested in ne;,otiatin{^ boinitl- 
aries and definitions than in 
hardenini' them, that it 
aetively strives to he a home to 
the "free fortns" of oar 
hetero}ieneous soeiety. " 



liinhT Kfinh hj. I>ifrt:tnr, 
Niikril ^. r* t nitif h Rmmi ami Shroi ht tU ( O'tintU 



PROVOKE 



85 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

TWO BY FREDERICK WISEMAN: 
HIGH SCHOOL & PRIMATE 

FREDERICK WISEMAN IN PERSON 

Sunday, October 1, 1995 - SF Art Institute 
Co-sponsored by Film Arts Foundation and the San Francisco Art Institute 

I personally have a horror of producing propaganda to fit 
any kind of ideology. ..I like the material to speak for itself I 
think the films that I've done, documentaries, all have a very 
clear point of view, but it's a point of view that the audience 
has to work with.. .in a sense they have to say, 'What the 
hell 's he trying to say with this? ' 
—if indeed I'm saying anything. 

—Frederick Wiseman, The Film Journal, Spring 1971 

The San Francisco Cinematheque, Film Arts Foundation, and the San Francisco Art 
Institute Lecture Series present a rare opportunity to see two early works by acclaimed 
documentary director Frederick Wiseman. Since his first work Titicut Follies was made 
and then banned in 1967, lawyer-tumed-filmmaker Wiseman has made 28 documentaries 
focusing on American institutions and the societal contradictions they embody. 

Throughout his heralded and controversial career, Frederick Wiseman has consistently 
pushed the boundaries of film art, blurring the lines between reality and fiction, subjectivity 
and objectivity, while always managing to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. 
Wiseman has taken as his subject American institutions: a mental institution, a correctional 
facility, a high school, a police department, a hospital, an Army training center, a 
monastery, a primate research center, and a meat packing company among others. 
Wiseman illustrates the way that society at large is reflected in these institutions through 
stark examinations of power structures and the influence they have on behavior. One 
cannot simply watch a Wiseman film and expect to walk away with a little nugget of truth 
about the way the world works. Instead, one becomes involved in the process of 
exploration and navigation through a complex series of images untainted by voice-over 
narration, allowing viewers to recognize the interaction of their own values and belief 
structures with the events presented in the film. 

Wiseman does not present a cinema of truth in his films. As he pointed out in a 1974 
interview discussing Primate: "I filmed events that existed in so-called real life, but 
structured them in a way that has no relationship to the order or time in which they actually 
occurred— and created a form that is totally fictional. So from a structural point of view, 
my films are more related to fictional technique than to documentary technique." With a 
fluid camera and rigorous editing Wiseman creates narratives that are associative as 
opposed to linear. Throughout it all Wiseman is the one controlling the image flow; the one 
creating the complex webs of narrative that hinge on his ability to present scenes that are at 
once riveting and surprising, leading his audience through these institutions which seem at 
once familiar and foreign. It is in this paradoxical space that we discover the power of 
Wiseman's work: the revelation of the hidden tensions that exist behind the facade of 
acceptable society. 



86 



Program Notes 1995 



High School (1968) \ 16mm, b/w, sound, 75 minutes I 

A high school, like any institution, is a self-contained society and you have to hunt out the 
places where power is exercised. That's where you're going to find the real values of the 
institution expressed. In one way the film is organized around the contrasts between the 
formal values of openness, trust, sensitivity, democracy, and understanding, and the actual * 
practice of the school which is quite authoritarian. (FW) I 

Primate (1974); 16mm, b/w, sound, 105 minutes 

"Wiseman has called the film a 'science-fiction documentary,' for it is about man's use of 
technology to attempt to manipulate the present and project himself into the future... Thus, ' 
in this institution, what we are seeing is the hunting animal— the tool-carrying killer 
primate— experimenting on his relative, the knuckle-walking primate, in order to 
understand and control his own evolution. This is the exact reversal of the situation 
presented in The Planet of the Apes, and its implications are far more bizarre and chilling." 

—Thomas R. Atkins, Frederick Wiseman, 1976 

Besides his work as an independent filmmaker, Wiseman is a graduate of Yale Law 
School, and has directed numerous theater pieces including Welfare: the Opera which he 
also wrote the story for, at the 1992 American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia. 

WISEMAN FBLMOGRAPHY 

Titicut Follies {\967),Seraphita' s Diary (1982); High School (1968y,The Store (1983); 
Law and Order (1969); Racetrack {\9S5); Hospital (1970); Blind (1986); Basic Training 
(1971); Deaf (\9S6); Essence (1972); Adjustment and Work (1986); Juvenile Court 
(1973); Multi-handicapped (1986)', Primate (1974); Missile (1987); Welfare {1975); Near 
Death (1989); Meat {1916); Central Park {1989); Canal Zone {1911); Aspen (1991); Sinai 
Field Mission (1978); Zoo (1993); Maneuver (1980); High School // (1994); Model 
{1980); Ballet {1995). 

Wiseman will speak about and show various clips from his works 
October 2, 1995 at 8:00 PM, at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue. 
This discussion, the first of FAF's Meet the Mavericks series, will be moderated by < 

Academy Award winner Irving Saraf. 
For information call 552-8760; for tickets call 392-4400. ^ 

•program notes by Jeffery Lambert* 



CINEMATHEQUE: ^^^ 

BEHIND THE SCENE ON SCREEN 

Thursday, October 5, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Who are these people who hold the San Francisco Cinematheque together? As a struggling 
non-profit with a meager staff of two and a half, the Cinematheque could not subsist 
without the love and labor of innumerable friends who regularly emerge from the large and 
diverse San Francisco film community to help us out. There are those on whom we call 
when in need, and there are those who appear on our doorstep (often having heard about us 
at one of the local film schools or at the courthouse where parking tickets get transmuted 
into hours of work) from all over the city, country and world to offer a bit of their sweat 
and blood for a few weeks or months. They help us by answering phones, writing 



87 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

program notes, licking stamps, selling tickets, making flyers, editing publications, 
distributing calendars, logging films, organizing our library, compiling publicity booklets, 
helping with projection, and just being there, so we know we can count on them in our 
moments of crisis. But who are these people, willing to do both menial tasks with no glory 
and challenging tasks that require feats of wild imagination, hours of organizational 
precision, and leaps of unbounded faith? Many are filmmakers in their own right, whose 
interest in seeing films and in making sure they continue to be seen at places like the 
Cinematheque is an integral part of their own creative development. This evening's 
screening is a look at the Cinematheque from the inside out, a way to get to know the some 
of the creative individuals who are its lifeblood, and an eclectic visual feast of some of the 
newest and hottest Bay Area short films. 

— Irina Leimbacher 

6.95: stnptease{\995) by Brian Frye; 16mm, color, silent, 3.5 minutes 

"The spectacle is a false revelation, the mechanism of substitution; it replaces knowledge 
with the promise of knowledge, language with the promise of communication, authenticity 
with the promise of truth. It is an exercise in recursive teleology, its object the reproduction 
of needs it cannot satisfy, the desire for alienation. It exists only as the materiel of 
consumption, the wasted husk of consciousness in presence. Its enlightenment is that of 
the pedagogue, a vicious obscurantism, translating the beauty of discontinuity into a simple 
science of empty maxims and valorized tautology. For its disciples speak its name in 
tongues that cannot be their own, and with the terror of the repentant suicide, they dance a 
fearful tarantella and scream with rabid glee the terrible praises of its own forsaken corpse." 

—Jackson P. Broadway 

The Creative Process? (1995), by Shawn Parrish; 16mm, b/w, sound, 6 minutes 

I had been having writer's block for over a month and the idea came to me for a joke about 
making a film about a film student who is making a film but has no ideas. This idea turned into 
a short comedy about badly made, pretentious, over-symbolic student films. What does it 
mean, you ask? Well, I believe what I was trying to say was that no one should take 
filmmaking half-assed. The two characters at the table (Ralph and Egg man) are like two parts 
of me— one side wanting to make films that challenge their audience and the other always 
saying that the film will be too artsy. (SP) 

Bodylyrics i(1995), by Judith Pfeifer; 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 

The shadows and appearances of two individuals emerge and evaporate in an inner and 
outer dialogue of approach and isolation. Alternating between a spherical, spatial 
orientation and a search foi another body, they share their path by extending their balance 
beyond their axis into tentative partner related movements. (JP) 

ALLMIXEDUP (1995), by Geoffe Domenghini; 16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes 

A film in three parts about the 'irrational' relationships between three couples. I: Despair. 
II: Ambient Sound. Ill: A Film about Soap. (GD) 

The Rope Factory (1995), by Kerri O'Kane and Megan Hayenga; 
16mm, b/w, sound, 13 minutes 

Two filmmakers explore the innards of an old rope factory built in the late 1800s. While 
inside they tap into the magic of those quiet moments shared by friends exploring dark old 
forbidden places. Most of the film has been hand-processed creating a unique and palpable 
space. 



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Program Notes 1995 



n 



"Untitled" (1995), by Christian Bruno; 16mm, color, sound, 13 minutes 
An artist asks himself, "Whose aesthetic is it anyway?" (CB) 

ResuUsfrom Test Case 79014F (1995), by Rick Danielson; 
16mm, b/w, sound, 10 minutes 

A man is experimented on with uncertain results. (RD) 

Gay Pride ^ ( 1995), by Timoleon Wilkins; regular-8mm, color, silent, 4 minutes 

A film comprised of four color variations on one roll of unslit regular-8. The four screens 
within a screen suggest a disturbing window through which particles and persons disperse 
in reversing and repeating rhythm. (TW) 

Untitled work in progress (1995) by Elise Hurwitz; 16mm, color, silent, 2 minutes 

She says chopping wood is more intellectual than physical (mentally searching for the line 
along which wood will split). I watch her, wondering. (EH) ^ 

My Good Eye (1995), by Alfonso Alvarez; 16mm, color, sound, 4 minutes 

"Kinochestvo is the art of organizing the necessary movements of objects in space as a 
rhythmical artistic whole, in harmony with the properties of the material and the internal 
rhythm of each object." 

—From WE, Variant of a Manifesto, Dziga Vertov, 1922 

"Kinodelic is the art of organizing the necessary movements of color film stock through an 
optical printer in harmony with the internal rhythm in the music of Jimi Hendrix." 

—From US, Variant of a Variant, Alva, 1995 

3.95: untitled (1995) by Brian Frye; 16mm, color, silent, 3.5 minutes 

"Records of a symbolic city in which the mark of historicity manifests itself despite the 
static continuity of alienated architecture, and the spectre of specificity blooms in the 
shadow of the careless machine. The true name of spaces is broken and their secret lives 
can be realized only in moments." 

—Jackson P. Broadway 

. . . And now, as a coda, two from the Cinematheque staff . . . 

Subway (1972) by Steve Anker, Steve; 16mm, b/w, silent, 3 minutes 

To think that he gave up a career in filmmaking to become the Director of the 
Cinematheque! 

Let's Go to the Bad World (unfinished fake preview) (1990) by Joel Shepard; 
16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes 

And you thought Associate Directors don't have a dark side...? 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

...and then god became disoriented 
in the for e s t of higher animals,,, 

J. G. CHAPMAN IN PERSON 

Sunday, October 8, 1995 — Victoria Theatre 
a co-presentation of the San Francisco Cinematheque and nan productions 

Tonight the Cinematheque and non productions are happy to co-present the premier of J.G. 
Chapman's first feature film, ..xind then god became disoriented in the forest of higher 
animals... J.G. Chapman has worked in and around audio/visuals in San Francisco since 
1985. As recording engineer, he has been involved with hundreds of recordings ranging 
from Thinking Fellers to Joe Satri£ini, red house painters to Faith No More. With devotion 
and respect reserved for the non -commercial, otherwise obscure, or projects somehow 
placed under the vague guise of truer art, he has worked on composing, recording, and 
producing many music and sound pieces, as well as sound for film for American 
Playhouse. More recently, he has become active as a cameraman and/or visual collaborator 
for film and video. Since 1987 he has written, directed and resourcefully produced six 
short films. Mr. Chapman also works as a technician and consultant in recording studios, 
post-houses and performs myriad duties from negative cutting to lens repair in an effort to 
finance his personal projects. ..xind then god became disoriented in the forest of higher 
animals... will be preceded by two short works, Thad Povey's Thine Inward-looking Eyes 
and Danny Plotnick and Laura Rosow's Pillow Talk. 

Thine Inward-looking Eyes (1993), by Thad Povey; 16mm, color, sound, 2 minutes 

To paraphrase something Lao Tzu didn't say: This film's an empty cup— You fill it up. 
(TP) 

Pillow Talk (1991), by Danny Plotnick and Laura Rosow; 
Super-8mm, color, sound, 18 minutes 

Extreme manipulation of filmic time and space combined with an impressionistic lighting 
scheme help create an urban spaces nightmare. They're fighting downstairs, they're 
fucking next door, they're stealing your clothes in the laundry room, and you're no better 
than the rest. Loquacious and lugubrious. Sorta like Jeanne Dielman meets Laverne & 
Shirley. (DP) 

. . .and then god became disoriented in the forest of higher animals. . . ( 1 994) , by J.G. 
Chapman; 16mm, color, sound, 70 minutes 

Doomed to be mysteriously connected to the essence of life, square peg Audrey Muse 
wrestles undauntedly with the future machine of western civilization. Squatting with a 
bumbling undesirable and an obsessive criminal handyman in the anarchistic zone outside 
the new world order, she naively launches illegal social commentary and, in a world 
without plants, animals or reliable oxygen, begins the inevitable journey into cynicism and 
disillusionment. (JGC) 

J.G. CHAPMAN FttMOGRAPHY 

Controlled Logic and Binary inc. (1988); Exteriors (1989); Red Carpets (1990); Under 
(1990) (Co-Director and Director of Photography); Man of Unfoundedness (1991); Meet 
the Thinking Fellers (1993); ..uind then god became disoriented in the forest of higher 
animals... (1994) 



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Program Notes 1995 

ELLEN BRUNO: PORTRAITS FROM THE EDGE 

ELLEN BRUNO IN PERSON 

Thursday, October 12, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Ellen Bruno's passionate involvement in the lives of the people she chooses to film 
provides a context for a humanistic understanding of her subjects' perspectives and 
prepares the viewer to analyze the political forces that shape their own, as well as other 
people's lives. In her documentaries, Bruno intends to show the audience "other 
possibilities of existence, other ways of being in the world" (—Ellen Bruno). She paints 
deeply personal portraits of people from different cultures, evoking awesome respect for 
people who persevere. Through her deliberate, reflective pacing and poetic feel for detail, 
Bruno explores themes of survival— how life miraculously persists and how philosophical 
idealism is retained in the presence of tragedy and oppression. 

Bruno acknowledges the huge impact that her community work has upon her filmmaking. 
Before receiving her Master's Degree in documentary filmmaking from Stanford in 1990, 
she worked in refugee camps on the Thai -Cambodian border, as field coordinator for the 
International Rescue Committee's Family Reunification Program, and as Director of the 
Cambodian Women's Project for the American Friends Service Committee. Recently, her 
volunteer work with the Zen Center Hospice provided the inspiration for her latest project. 
Blessed. 

Samsara (1990); 16mm, color, sound, 29 minutes 

The Cambodian survivors in Samsara are tested to the limits of human endurance in a 
country disrupted with deep political turmoil. They are attempting to restructure their lives 
in the wake of destruction left by the Khmer Rouge. Using ancient prophecy, Buddhist 
teachings, folklore and dreams, Bruno documents a shattered society in a climate of war as 
they struggle to understand their past. Bruno reveals a new vision of reality, an elusive and 
difficult path of nonresistance. 

Satya: A Prayer For The Enemy (1994) ; 16mm, color, sound, 28 minutes 

Bruno structures yet another vision of reality in Satya as she seeks to understand the basis 
and inspiration for the nonviolent resistance of Tibetan nuns against the religious 
oppression and cultural genocide practiced by the Chinese government against the Tibetans. 
Bruno makes a profound visual, emotional and political statement through the intimacy and 
gentleness with which she handles the material. 

"If more films were made with a conscience even remotely close to this one, the world 
would be a different place." 

—National Educational Film Festival. 

Blessed ( 1995); 3/4 inch video, color, sound, 12 minutes 

In her newest work, Bruno brings her astute observations and deeply personal, lyrical 
style closer to home in a story about an inter-racial couple living in the Tenderloin. Bruno 
documents the wisdom and spirit of survival of this couple as they confront their demons 
and attempt to live out the American dream in an unconventional way. Ellen Bruno portrays 
yet another perspective on the human condition in this film as she attempts to confront vital 
social issues and challenge her audience's points of view. 

•program notes by Chryss Terry* 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 



BLACK SHEEP BOY 
AND OTHER FILMS BY MICHAEL WALLIN 

MICHAEL WALLIN IN PERSON 

Sunday , October 15, 1995 — SF Art Institute 

Michael Wallin's first one-person screening in seven years at the San Francisco 
Cinematheque highlights the completion of his long awaited new film Black Sheep Boy, a 
poetic rumination on desire, the construction of sexual fantasy, and the pursuit of the 
idealized other. Tonight's show is also an opportunity to revisit several of Wallin's earlier 
works, including the award-winning Decodings. 

Michael Wallin has been making films in the Bay Area for 25 years. His involvement in the 
film community has included an eight-year stint as Manager of Canyon Cinema, the 
country's largest distributor of independently-produced experimental work, and eight years 
on its Board of Directors. He has taught film production and theory at California College of 
Arts and Crafts, and is currently President of the Board of the San Francisco 
Cinematheque. In 1988 Wallin received the James D. Phelan Art Award in Filmmaking for 
the body of his work, and his film Decodings was chosen for the Biennial Exhibition of the 
Whitney Museum of American Art in 1989. In order to make Black Sheep Boy, he received 
major production grants to artists from the National Endowment for the Arts and the 
American Film Institute as well as a grant from the Independent Television Service (ITVS). 
In addition to making films, Wallin also works as a psychotherapist at Fort Help 
Counseling Agency and has a private practice. 

Sleepwalk (19^3); 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 

Sleepwalk, one of the first films Wallin finished while attending film school, grew out of an 
interest in the Russian mystic philosophers Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and their theories 
concerning the expression of personality through personal mannerisms, gesture and 
nuances of behavior. In his film Wallin deconstructs the physical expressions that 
characterize three of his friends, examining the process by which these idiosyncrasies 
delineate the specificity of personality. 

Along the Way (1983); 16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes 

The third film in a trilogy of related works that includes Monitoring the Unstable Earth and 
Fearful Symmetry, Along the Way addresses the function of topography as perceived 
through landscape and cityscape. However, while the previous films move toward 
abstraction. Along the Way centers itself on people, events and the experiential aspects of 
space. Taking the form of a travelogue or diary film, it chronicles the activities of leisure 
time, while focusing them through the analytic lens of formalist structure. Finished during 
the dissolution of a ten-year relationship, the film contains the emotional residue of that 
event, playing with a deliberate sentimentality or nostalgia for things past. 

Decodings {\9SS)', 16mm, b/w, sound, 15 minutes 

The mystery of life is being here with you. The mystery is being with your absence. 
This is a story. There is isolation and brotherhood. Desperation and hope. A heart 
is laid bare. There is blood. A man leaps from an airplane. Danger. It is not a 
story for the timid. 

— from the script of Decodings 



92 



Program Notes 1995 

While I was editing the film I began to realize that my choice of material reflected concerns 
that seemed almost 'autobiographical.' The film evolved into a sort of 
emotional/psychological/sexual self-portrait. I wrote a piece for the film as a narration, but 
it was too naked. I gave it to a writer friend with instructions to create vignettes and 
characters to carry the thematic material. He did, creating a series of anecdotes, parables 
and pseudo-scientific musings to accompany the images and the music of Shostakovich. 
The film deals with the issues of the kinds of relationships that can exist between males and 
the possibilities for and the barriers to intimacy. It is concerned with the struggle to break 
through family/cultural expectations and role-playing to express true individuality and 
experience true freedom. (MW) 

''Decodings is a profoundly moving, allegorical search for identity from the documents of 
collective memory, in this case found footage from the 40s and 50s . The search for self 
ends in aching poignancy with stills of a boy and his mother at the kitchen table, catching 
the moment that marks the dawning of anguish and loss; desire becomes imprinted on that 
which was long ago." 

— Manohla Dargis, Village Voice 

Black Sheep Boy (1995) \ 16mm, color, sound, 37 minutes 

Michael Wallin's most recent film. Black Sheep Boy, explicitly addresses his experience of 
his own sexuality and the way that it has structured and responded to desire, especially as 
expressed through voyeurism. Although the visual element of the film consists 
predominately of intimately photographed nude or partially clothed young men, as a text it 
maintains a studied distance from these men, allowing for their presence only as the objects 
of its gaze, which the spoken text implicitly identifies as that of the filmmaker. This 
position of identification with the gaze of the camera emphasizes its function as a probing 
tool, one which allows for examination and dissection but stymies the maturation of desire 
into identification with its object. However, while the visual object of desire remains 
external, the subject of examination and point of intimate revelation attaches itself to the 
voice of the text, that of the filmmaker, and the features that characterize the specificity of 
his desire. In this way, the true intimate subject of the film becomes explicitly located in the 
disembodied corpus of the text itself, and so not only functions as an exegesis of desire and 
its problematics as expressed in this one individual, but also implicates the spectator in that 
critical evaluation, its revelation demanding reciprocation. 

"On the surface. Black Sheep Boy might appear to stereotype gay men as sex obsessed— 
and with youth at that. But Wallin accomplishes something deeper: he presents a thinking, 
feeling human being on a quest for self-knowledge. Boy has links to experimental classics 
such as Jean Genet's Un Chant d' Amour and Kenneth Anger's Fireworks, but addresses 
the philosophical and psychological implications of sexual yearning more directly." 

—Daniel Mangin, S.F. Weekly 

MICHAEL WALLIN FiLMOGRAPHY 

Black Sheep Boy (1995); Greed, or Buffalo Baba (1972/1980); Decodings (1988); The 
Place Between Our Bodies (1976); Along the Way (1983); Sleepwalk (1973); Fearful 
Symmetry (1981); A5 the Wheel Turns (1973); Monitoring the Unstable Earth (1980); 
Kali's Revue (1972); Cool Runnings (1980); Mendocino (1968); Tall Grass (1980); 
Phoebe and Jan ( 1968). 

•program notes by Brian Frye* 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

TRINH T. MINH-HA'S A TALE OF LOVE 
TRINH T. MINH-HA IN PERSON 

Thursday, October 19, 1995 - Kabuki Theatre 
The San Francisco Cinematheque, NAATA and FAF present a special sneak preview 

The San Francisco Cinematheque, the National Asian American Telecommunications 
Association and Film Arts Foundation are honored to present a sneak preview of Trinh T. 
Minh-ha's eagerly awaited first narrative feature, A Tale of Love. A filmmaker, writer, 
composer and teacher, Trinh Minh-ha has been a vital and provocative presence in the Bay 
Area film community for several years. Her category-defying films, her poetic and 
uncompromising critical writing on cinema, feminism, and gender and cultural politics, as 
well as her soft-spoken yet rigorous classes at San Francisco State and U C Berkeley have 
inspired and challenged many of us working and thinking in the representational arena. 

Bom in Hanoi and educated at the University of Saigon and the National Conservatory of 
Music, Trinh Minh-ha left Vietnam at the age of seventeen and continued her studies in the 
Philippines and in Paris. She moved to the United States in 1970 where she received 
graduate degrees in Ethnomusicology and Music Composition, and a Ph.D. in Comparative 
Literature. Between 1977 and 1980 she taught at the National Conservatory of Music in 
Dakar, Senegal. Here in the United States she has taught at Cornell, Smith, Harvard and 
San Francisco State, and she is presently Professor of Women's Studies and Film at the 
University of California, Berkeley. While teaching, writing and making films, Trinh also 
travels and lectures extensively on art, film theory and practice, feminism, and cultural 
politics in the States as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The recipient 
of several awards and grants (including the AFI National Independent Filmmaker Maya 
Deren Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment of 
the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute, and the California Arts 
Council), Trinh's films have shown widely in the United States, in Canada, Senegal, 
Australia and New Zealand as well as in Europe and Asia, with retrospectives in the UK, 
the Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Hong Kong. 

All of Trinh Minh-ha's works challenge and undermine the experience of film both as 
spectacle and as bearer of authoritative meaning. Her first film, Reassemblage, which was 
shot in Senegal with a hand-cranked Bolex, challenges traditional ethnographic style and 
embodies a reflection on the cinematographic language commonly used in ethno- 
documentary films. Her subsequent films. Naked Spaces - Living is Round, Surname Viet 
Given Name Nam, and Shoot for the Contents all continue to actively engage the audience 
in the process of meaning construction as they question and dismantle fixed notions of 
identity, culture, and the power to name, to speak about. As Trinh writes in her book When 
the Moon Waxes Red, there is a great need to make films politically, and "a politically made 
film must begin by first shaking the system of cinematic values on which its politics is 
entirely dependent." Her new film which we have the privilege of screening tonight will 
certainly continue to shake both the system and our expectations while at the same time 
marking a new departure for Trinh into the realm of 35mm "fiction" filmmaking. 

A Tale of Love (1995); 35mm, color, sound, 108 minutes 

Director, Producer, Writer, Editor: Trinh T. Minh-ha; Co-Director, Co-Producer, 
Lighting & Production Designer: Jean-Paul Bourdier; Line Producer/ Production 
Manager: Erica Marcus; Director of Photography: Kathleen Beeler; Art Director: 
Angela D. Chou; Assistant Editor/Location Manager: Corey Ohama; Post- 
Production Consultant/Re -recording Mixer: Jim KaWett; Music: The Construction 



94 



Program Notes 1995 



of Ruins; Constructors: Greg Goodman, J.A. Deane; Sound Recordist: Lauretta 
Molitor; Cast: Mai Huynh, Juliette Chen, Dominic Overstreet, Mai Le Ho, Kieu 
Loan. 

Set in the framework of contemporary American life, A Tale of Love follows the quest of a 
woman in love with Love. The film is loosely inspired by The Tale of Kieu, the Vietnamese 
national poem of love, written in the early 19th century. The poem tells of the misfortunes 
of Kieu, a martyred woman who sacrificed her "purity" and prostituted herself for the good 
of her family. Vietnamese people (both in Vietnam and in the diaspora) see the poem as a 
mythical biography of the "motherland," marked by internal turbulence and foreign 
domination; they recognize their country in the karma-cursed and passion-driven Kieu. 

The film portrays the Vietnamese immigrant experience through Kieu, a free-lance writer 
who sends money to her family in Vietnam by working for a women's magazine and 
posing for a photographer. Yet, while caught between different cultural and emotional 
worlds, our modem day Kieu broadens the role of the nineteenth century woman of The 
Tale of Kieu by exposing the link between sex and the virtual decapitation of women in 
love stories. 

Kieu struggles with her Aunt, a single mother and a social worker, over traditional values 
and the demands of modem life. In his studio, Alikan the artist photographs Kieu sheathed 
by transparent veils, shrouded in mystery. Idealizing the headless female body, he exposes 
the voyeurism of both the camera eye and the spectator's eye in the consumption of images 
of love. Kieu's relationship with Alikan is, however, based on mutual agreement and their 
dialogues hint at a larger conversation between cultures and genders. The two are playing a 
match of chess where desire drives the game. 

Away from the photographer's studio, Kieu is working on an article about the legacy of 
The Tale of Kieu for a women's magazine. Kieu's mentor Juliet, the editor of the 
magazine, is a woman who loves through the sense of smell and believes only in a "great 
love," a la Romeo and Juliet. With Juliet, Kieu comes to understand how the poem 
resonates in her own personal life. In the end, overcoming the sorrows of love and exile is, 
for Kieu, to reinvent both herself and the 2(X)-year old poem. n ^ ^ j \j 

Voyeurism runs through the history of love narrative, and voyeurism is here one of the 
threads that structure the "narrative" of the film. Is the film about love? Is it a love story? 
As the title suggests, it is above all a "tale"; a tale about the fiction of love in love stories 
and the process of consumption; a tale that marginalizes traditional narrative conventions 
such as action, plot, unity of time and realistic characters. Opening up a space where 
reality, memory and dream constantly pass into one another, A Tale of Love unfolds in 
linear and non-linear time. It offers both a sensual and an intellectual experience of film and 
can be viewed as a symphony of colors, sounds and reflections. As a character in the film 
says, "Narrative is a track of scents passed on from lovers to lovers." 

Kieu acts as a foil to a multiplicity of desires embodied in the other characters. With Alikan, 
Minh, Java and Juliet, she experiences love through sight, sound, smell and touch. 
Similarly, the film offers the spectator more than one way into it own "love stories." Rather 
than being homogenized, the relationship between the visuals and the verses remains 
layered and elliptical. Light, setting, camera movement, sound and text all have a presence, 
a logic and a language of their own. Although they reflect upon one another, they are not 
intended to just illustrate the meanings of the narrative. The film also works with a subtly 
"denaturalized" space of acting. In the way the shots and the dialogues are carried out, both 
spectators and actors share the discomfort of voyeurism: the unnatural ness of those who 



95 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

"look without being looked at" (the makers, the spectators) versus the self -consciousness 
of those who "know they are being looked at while they are being watched" (the actors). 

TRINH T. MINH-HA FiLMOGRAPHY 

Reassemblage (1982); Naked Spaces— Living is Round (1985); Surname Viet Given Name 
Nam (1989); Shoot for the Contents (1991); A Tale of Love (co-directed with Jean-Paul ; 
Bourdier, 1995). 

BOOKS BY TRINH T. MiNH-HA 

Un Art sans oeuvre (1981); African Spaces— Designs for Living in Upper Volta (in 
collaboration with Jean-Paul Bourdier, 1985); En minuscules (1987); Woman, Native, 
Other (1989); When the Moon Waxes Red (I99l)\ Framer Framed (1992). 

"I am interested in making films thai further engage filmmaking, £ind contribute to the body 
of existing works that inspire and generate other works. In this process of mutual learning, 
of constant modification in consciousness, the relation between filmmaker, film subject and 
film viewer becomes so tightly interdependent that the reading of the film can never be 
reduced to the filmmaker's intentional. . .Reading a film is a creative act and I will continue 
to make films whose reading I may provoke and initiate but do not control. A film is like a 
page of paper which I offer the viewer. I am responsible for what is within the boundary of 
the paper but I do not control and do not wish to control its folding. The viewer can fold it 
horizontally, obliquely, vertically, they can weave the elements to their liking and 
background. This interfolding and intervening situation is what I consider to be most 
exciting in making films." 

-Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1988 

•notes on A Tale of Love provided by Trinh T. Minh-ha • 
•notes on the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha by Irina Leimbacher* 



QUEER SHORTS BY FEATURE DIRECTORS 
JENNIE LIVINGSTON IN PERSON 

Sunday, October 22, 1995 — SF Art Institute 

Hot Heads (1993), by Jennie Livingston; video, color, sound, 6 minutes 

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987), by Todd Haynes; 
16mm, color, sound, 40 minutes 

Name Day (1993), by Maria Maggenti ; 16mm, b/w, sound, 

Intrepidissima (1992,) by Marta Balletbo-Coll; video, color, sound, 7 minutes 

Fingers and Kisses (1995), by Shu Lea Cheang; video, color, sound, 5 minutes 

Coming Home (1995), by Shu Lea Cheang; video, color, sound, 4 minutes 

The Discipline ofDe (1978), by Gus Van Sant; 16mm, b/w, sound, 9 minutes 

My Friend {\9S5), by Gus Van Sant; 16mm, b/w, sound, 3 minutes 



96 



Program Notes 1995 



FILMS FROM PARIS' LIGHT CONE 
LIGHT CONE FOUNDER YANN BEAUVAIS IN PERSON 

Thursday, October 26, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

This evening the San Francisco Cinematheque is honored to welcome Yann Beauvais with 
a program of films brought to us all the way from Paris. Beauvais is the co-founder, with 
Miles McKane, of Light Cone, France's most active distributor of alternative film which, 
like the Bay Area's own Canyon Cinema, accepts experimental films on deposit with the 
filmmakers retaining ownership and setting their own rental rates. He also founded and 
does the programming for Scratch Projection, a major venue for experimental films in 
France, as well as being the Film and Video Curator at the American Center in Paris. 

Uta Makura (Pillow Poems): Of Gardens. Outings. Tokyotokids. On the Go (1994-95), 
by Vivian Ostrovsky; 16mm, color, sound, 19 minutes 

The filmmaker's reflections on traveling to Japan. 

New York Long Distance (1994), by Yann Beauvais; 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes 

An evocation of Beauvais' relationship to New York since 1962 through a combination of 
postcard images and autobiographical fragments. 

The film is concerned with the distance between a memory and the image of this memory, a 
distance one always tries to abolish. (YB) 

La Peche miraculeuse (The Miraculous Catch of Fish) (1995), by C6cile Fontaine; 
16mm, color, silent, 18 fps, 10 minutes 

Using found footage, travel footage, mattes and superim positions, Fontaine takes us on a 
lush and lyrical journey into the sea and the film medium. 

Bouquets 1-10 (1994-95), by Rose Lowder; 16mm, color, silent, 12 minutes 
An investigation into landscape, time and the act of seeing. 

Vagues a ColUoure (Waves at Collioure) (1991), by Jean Michel Bouhours; 
16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 

In the summer of 1914, Collioure was a small and tranquil fishing village far from the 
convulsions of a Europe in flames. Matisse painted a curious canvas there, French Window 
in Collioure. Homage to Collioure, a wink to the cubists, a reference to Matisse; an 
offering to the wind and to the sea. 

The furious north wind sends you its spasmodic grumblings in the crystalline air. The sea 
is unleashed by the wind, which suddenly deserts the various small boats; SOS for the 
imprudent. The huge breaking waves make the children on the beach happy. (JMB) 

Trama (1987-80), by Christian Lebrat; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 

Trama succeeds in producing and multiplying perspectives, flights, depths and parallel 
worlds. Spatial rotations not inscribed in the ribbon appear, chasms open, points of escape 
multiply, the screen twists in all directions, thickens and collapses to this frantic rhythm. 
(YB) 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

Un Navet (A Flop) (1976), by Maurice Lemattre; 16mm, color, sound, 31 minutes 
One can say that film lovers are going to be spoiled! The creator and his assistant Ren^ 
Charles have done everything to offer the screen-intoxicated a real hard punch of cinema. 
Of course, not everyone will be of this opinion, and there will always be the cinematic 
epicures who prefer to go to the boulevards or the Champs-El ys^es to belch at their 
leisure... 

It's true that one needn't be disgusted to view this film. Even the connoisseurs of the 
"underground", the "different", the "experimental", and tuttiquanti (as well as, a fortiori , 
the art cinema clods...) will grumble in front of this screen! 

But that's exactly what Lemattre wants, you clever ones! To make you completely sick of 
cinema! (ML) 

TEXT FROM THE SOUNDTRACK OF MAURICE LEMAITRE'S UN NAVET (A FLOP) 

(translated by Irina Leimbacher) 

Yesterday at the movies, I saw a great film... 

A film by Maurice Lemaitre... 

A flop, it was called... 

Really a good film... A success! 

But this one, well... 

That film, on the other hand, is really bad... 
Frankly disgusting 
Really, not successful I 
How can one make a film like that? 
It has neither tail nor head! 
Don't you agree? 
Don't tell me you like the film! 
' - I don't know what you could see in it! 

You have to be sick to make things like that! 
The filmmaker certainly isn't in his right mind. 
I wonder what made him make this horror! 
One shouldn't allow this type of thing! 
What could have made him do that? 
Don't you agree? 
Why aren't you saying anything? 
You are all really clods. 

One can show you anything and you swallow it and say thank you! 
There's no way to get a murmur out of you, some opinion! 
You think this is good? 
You like it, huh? 

There's no reason not to be frank, if they 
., gave you shit to eat, you'd only ask for more? 

No, really, look at this bimch of idiots, flopped down like cows, 

chewing their cud ! 

Seriously, don't you think this guy is making fun of you? 

You're not going to just sit there without moving, until the end of the 

fihn? 

You have to do something, stop the projection, something, I don't know! 

If at least there was a little music. . . 

You're discouraging, one can't expect anything from people as spineless as 

you. 

People who will pay to swallow any kind of trash! 

Just put you in front of a screen and you're happy! 



98 



Program Notes 1995 



I mean, this isn't cinema! 

You'd never make me say this fihn is worth a good Renoir, a good 

Eisenstein... 

There's not an idea in it! 

Empty, it's totally empty. 

He's got nothing to say, this guy! 

He's making fim of you. 

And he's right, because you're letting him... 

There ' s no reason not to be frank. . 

I don't know what else to say, even to insult you. You couldn't care less... 

It's true that you're clods... 

Isn't there even one among you, to react a little, to say something? 

Ok, ok, it's me who's wrong! 

Even so, you have to be masochistic... 

Oh well, I don't care, if you like such things... 

There are limits though! 

That guy, if I had him, I'd stick my fist in his face! 

It's not permitted to make fun of people like this! 

What shit... 

There it is, your little cinema, huh, 

are you content, did you have a good belch? 

Me, in any case, I won't be taken in, I won't fall for that stuff! 

You can't take me for a half-wit! ' -^ ' * 

I'm staying just to see how far that guy can take you, you bunch of suckers! 

And I bet you'll even thank him, you imbeciles! 

Thank you, Mr. Filmmaker, for mocking us! 

No, you haven't seen yoiu-selves, eyes round as marbles, watching this 

junk! 

Ah, if you could only see yourselves ! 

You're not very bright. . . 

There are some people who deserve a good kick in the ass. . . 

Hitler was right, there really are inferior races. .. degenerates. . . 

One can't do anything for those people. . . 

Say something, for god's sake!... 

program notes by Irina Leimbacher and Emily Golembiewski* 



TERMINAL USA - UNCENSORED! 
WITH DER ELVIS & SLEAZY RIDER 

JON MORITSUGU IN PERSON 

Sunday, October 29, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

"These films are maximum fuck but with strange appeal." 

—Strange Noise Magazine (Japan) 

"Moritsugu's films are profoundly original yet utterly repulsive. He is most definitely the 
boil on the buttocks of the American independent film scene." 

—Terry Van Horn, London Film Collective 
(from Moritsugu's press kit; there is no London Film Collective) 

Kazumi's been shot but needs more dope. The straight laced brother is hot for a local 
skinhead, sis is blowing the lawyer and mom just wants to order a pizza. A world of pill 
poppers, girl rockers, hippies, sausage trafficers, sluts, suckers and a garden of beef. You 



99 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

have entered the world of filmmaker Jon Moritsugu, creator of a vast range of eye- 
popping, furiously paced punk-pop art comedies. Lawless but never careless, he is one our 
countries most talented young independents. He states, "I want an immediate response, 
which is either disgust or people liking it. I'm not trying to do anything lofty like change 
the world, I don't think that's possible through filmmaking." 

With a group of films spanning ten years that have shown at film festivals around the 
world, Moritsugu has shown that you can make a sophisticated, genuinely subversive film 
with very little money, proving that creativity and desire are not always ruled by the dollar. 
Tonight Moritsugu will present the uncensored version of Terminal USA. The film was 
produced for television broadcast by the Independent Television Service. Until now. 
Terminal USA has only been available in a "self-censored" version, which obscured some 
of the raunchier visuals and language, and also contained a great deal of fake censorship of 
innocent material. Moritsugu will also present two hilarious, classic shorts, Der Elvis and 
Sleazy Rider. 

Der Elvis (19S7); 16mm, color, sound, 23 minutes 

This devastating put-down is absolutely the last work on Elvis mania. Scuzzed to the max, 
Der Elvis takes on the man and the myth in the cruelest way imaginable, detailing his weird 
sex life, his obsession with laxatives and enemas, the dozen or so drugs found in his body, 
and his gun fetish. Of course, it's difficult to understand anyone's interest in Elvis, he was 
truly terrifying; a sweaty, brooding sow wrapped in polyester, yodeling comball Vegas 
muzak. Der Elvis elegantly destroys the illusion with warped, elliptical editing, 
disorienting manipulation of sound, and general skull-bashing, sledgehammer approach. "I 
found him strangely fascinating... for everything bad I've said about him, I still have a 
certain amount for respect for Elvis." 

Sleazy Rider {19SS); 16mm, b/w, sound, 23 minutes 

A shiny, dusted fairy tale of "girl hoods on an epic sum ride," Sleazy Rider is a sort of 
remake o( Easy Rider, but instead of cocaine, these evil hippie chicks smuggle sausage and 
sniff spray paint, only stopping to terrorize retarded suburbanites. With clips from hard- 
core porn, mean gossip about Dennis Hopper's illegitimate daughter, and a stomping, 
ultra-distorted soundtrack. Sleazy Rider handily crams the whole biker "scene" into the 
garbage. "For all the nice things people said about Easy Rider, I thought it was a pretty 
lame movie... I just wanted to take this hippie manifesto and fuck with it." Music by 
Steppenpuke, Feedtime and, Sockabilly. 

Terminal USA (1993); 16mm, color, sound, 57 minutes 

Terminal USA is a relentlessly anarchic soap opera fever dream of the "model" minority 
family, starring Moritsugu himself in double role as Kazumi and Marvin, the good and bad 
Asian brothers. Moritsugu sees his characterization of the family as unique in television 
history, "You don't see Asian Americans on TV. I see this as a first, a very Americanized 
Asian American family... you never see that on television, which is really disconcerting." 
With a meticulously perverse attention to sets and costumes. Terminal USA examines the 
problems facing our troubled teens today: pregnancy tests, blowjobs, IV drug use, 
skinheads and, of course, gunshot wounds. Riddled with reckless, yet comedic violence, 
hilariously strange anti-acting, cross burning, and somersaulting blood spattered 
cheerleaders. Terminal USA may be more then you bargained for. 

His biggest budget film so far, Moritsugu says that "it's the closest I'll ever come to 
making a Hollywood film. ..it was also the most disgusting, worst way to make a movie. 



100 



Program Notes 1995 

wilh that much money and that many people around." Regardless, Terminal USA is 
Moritsugu's most sophisticated work, crystallizing his obsessions (teenagers, racism, 
rebellion", punk rock) in a brilliant satire of the ultimate dysfunctional family. Also 
featuring a stellar performance by Hippy Porn co-director Jacques Boyreau as Tabilha the 
Skinhead, and sound by Monte Cazazza and Michelle Handelman. 

It is a positive, constructive act to create your own world out of one that is not yours. It is 
often the only sane thing to do. Even though Moritsugu's films are bursting with bile, he is 
motivated by more than just a hatred of society. "I make films not only out of bitterness and 
anger... my films are the way I wish the world was... and it's an optimistic thing to do 
that." 

MORITSUGU SELECTED FiLMOGRAPHY 

Der Elvis {1987); Sleazy Rider (1988); My Degeneration (1989); Hippy Porn (1991, Co- 
Directed with Jacques Boyreau); Terminal USA ( 1993); Mod Fuck Explosion ( 1994). 

•program notes by Joel Shepard, Associate Director, SF Cinematheque* 
(notes originally appeared in a different form in Your Flesh magazine) 



LOOK AND LISTEN: A FILM/SOUND LABORATORY 

CO-PRESENTED AS PART OF THE llTH ANNUAL FILM ARTS FESTIVAL 

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF KEVIN DEAL 
ORGANIZED BY STEVE DYE 

Thursday, November 2, 1995 — Roxie Cinema, 3117-16th Street 

lOOl^ ^ ilSTlN 

A FiLK/SodWT> Laboratory 

THEREIS M /)L-WHEA\IC/^L sound f\m I/AAGE laboratory that EJCI5T5 
HEREON ALL SIDES OF THE BAY. TONIGHT WE HAVEmANV EKPERimENTERS 
WITHUSTOCONJUR AND CREATE. 

/^LL OF THESE SOUNDS ARE EPHEmERAL. /^LL THESE l/ftAGES FLEETING. 
TOGETHER THEY CAN BECOME GREATER THAN THE SUmOF THEIR PARTS. 
THEY CAN RESONATE. AND ALLOW US TO CARRY THAT FEELING FRO/A 
BEYOND THIS mOmENT. 

Wet 6/>rE presented by 

THE >^LL Projector Orchestr/^ 

In the first decades of this century, before the advent 
of Magnetic Audio Tape, there existed Optical Film Sound. Early 
experimenters inscribed directly on the negative allowing light to 
make the final registration... sound... created without being uttered! 

An Optical Track, interruptions In a focused beam of light to 
create sound, is essentially the same technology used in CDs. 
Unlike Digital Optical Sound, however. Optical FilmSound is a non- 
precision instrument which allows for analog anomalies.. 
Wet G/^TE proudly celebrates 

the 100th Anniversary of Machine Noise. 

The /^ll Projector Orchestr/^ is: 
Peter CoHHEim. Reep. Owen O'toole. Steve Pye loi 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

ST/>RT TilLKlNG (COLOR 8 miN. 1995) 

ft\US\CAl AcCOft\t>Ati\rt\i:HT ^\^ Phelfs 

The first person I met when I arrived in S.F. in 1978 was Lowell 
Williams. He ran a super 8 showcase called OFF THE WALL 
CINEMA and offered to show my first feature length film at the now 

defunct ABOVE BOARD THEATRE. Lowell became a wine sleuth, 
drove a Greyhound bus and operated a mail-order record business 
called RADIOACTIVE RECORDS. We remained friends through the 
years and Lowell was unquestionably a true one. 

The soundtrack is taken from Lowell's answering machine. 
The support in the voices of his friends and neighbors inspired me to 
finish this film. The title is Lowell's as well as the occasional spinning 
captions. Though absent, he still gets the last word. 

Lowell's OFF THE WALL CINEMA had presented several 
shows at the ROXIE so It seemed only fitting that this film memento 
be shown here tonight. 

"The grey fox! We're waiting for you." 



El Fue go (color / miN. ) by Cory Mc/^bee 

AccomP/iNiEPBY Cory Mc/^bee /^nd Bobbie Lurie 

Experimental animation featuring hand manipulation by means of sun 
and magnifying glass, super glue. Ink, acetate, and fire. 

Bep Bug (vipeo ¥ miN.) 

ViP&O AHV PERFORm/lMCE BY BOMHiE kAPL/lH. 

Bonnie Kaplan is a performance artist who utilizes Video as an 
auxiliary self, as a tool for self exploration. 



kiNG miP/^S (COLOR 10 miN.) BY STEVE PYE 

Tr/^pition/»l Phrygi/^n music by the Dactyls. 

who guide you on a journey to the gardens and laboratory of an 
ancient scientist With an eye-witnesses account of what transpired 
there. 

Pi^cTYLS /^re; 

Eliz/ibeth Gr/iy. Miik PlNl^O. 

Fr/im HoLLi^riP. Steve Pye 

ORBiTi^L Loop II 

SOUNP COliSTRUCTlOti WITH ViPEO iZO rt\\H. ) 

Donkey Boy is currently a four-legged but fluid entity straddling the 
trough of media piracy. Donkey Boy exploits the collision of moving 
images with the electro-accoustic sound scape. 

P.B. isPB/l 

Luther Brapfute /^nd Pe/^m S/^htor/imeri 



102 



Program Notes 1995 

PAUL MCCARTHY WITH HEIDI AND PAINTER 

Paul McCarthy In Person 

Thursday, November 9, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

When I was doing performances and paintings in the mid-1960s I was really interested in 
experimental filmmakers like Stan Brakhage, Stan Vanderbeek, and Andy Warhol. Their 
films corresponded to my interest in performance and happenings. I wasn't satisfied with 
art as just painting. 

—Paul McCarthy, 1995 

The San Francisco Cinematheque is pleased to present two videos by renowned 
performance artist Paul McCarthy including Heidi, a collaboration with Mike Kelley, and 
the West Coast premiere of Painter which was created as part of an installation for the 
Museum of Modem Art in New York. Throughout his career, McCarthy has continuously 
pushed the boundaries of aesthetic definitions, traditional artistic genres, and good taste. 
Disgusting some, delighting others, McCarthy uses humor and transgression to satirize and 
deconstruct traditional notions of what constitutes acceptability. McCarthy has been making 
films and videos since the late 1960s, and more recently, has been using actual sit-com 
sound stages and sets which give his videos a sense of familiarity and acceptability that is 
eerily undercut when characters sexual desires are violently demonstrated through the use 
of foodstuffs. Ketchup, especially, takes on a multitude of connotations in McCarthy's 
work: it is food, movie blood, real blood, and finally a bitterly comic representation of 
American excess. What once was an innocent condiment is transformed, smeared 
everywhere, rubbed on the body, and defiled. Our perception of ketchup is forever 
changed. This disconcerting effect, changing the way we perceive what once was familiar, 
is also produced by his brilliant installations that present distorted alternate worlds inhabited 
by Animatronic-like figures of twisted cartoon animals, men humping trees and generally 
behaving in manners that would shock and disgust their Pirate of the Caribbean 
counterparts over at Disneyland. McCarthy currently teaches at UCLA where he has been 
since 1984. 

Heidi (1992), collaboration with Mike Kelley; video, color, sound, 63 minutes 

It's not about the Austrian or German version of the story based on the novel by Joanna 
Spyri. It's a combination of American horror film, the story of Heidi, and Disney-esque 
props mixed with attitudes of modernism. That kind of overlapping structure is what 
interests me. The references I make to the media and to Disneyland/Hollywood is another 
subject. It has to do with virtual reality settings. It's a world that is quickly approaching, 
and I gravitate towards it. It's startling, how it's affecting humanity. I am not critiquing it, 
its destructiveness, in the sense that it is destroying nature. I am not making a judgment. 
You can't stop it. But it does put people in crisis. (PC) 

Pointer (1995); video, color, sound, 50 minutes 

"In Painter, Mr. McCarthy plays the most romanticized of all artists, grossly exaggerated 
but with a ring of truth. His costume includes a hospital gown, enormous rubber hands and 
ears, and a bulbous nose that bobs up and down during tantrums. His props are out-sized 
paint brushes and rollers, and tubes of paint as big as occupied body bags.. .He plays up 
the onanistic, infantile side of masculine creativity while lampooning sundry artistic 
myths." 

— Roberta Smith, The New York Times 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

The environment is like a television stage set and part of it is a mock TV set. It has to do 
with painting being an icon of western art and about the representation of the artist by 
Hollywood... Romantic, yes, but also a conception of the artist as stupid, as a pervert or 
clown— Batman and— Joker, Nick Nolte and Paul Newman as New York painters. (PC) 

• program notes by Jeffery Lambert* 



CULT RAPTURE!: AN EVENING WITH ADAM PARFREY 

ADAM PARFREY IN PERSON 

Sunday, November 12, 1995 - SF Art Institute 

Nearly a decade after the debut of his incendiary anthology Apocalypse Culture, Adam 
Parfrey returns to the scene of the crime for another shattering exploration of millennial 
agony. Cult Rapture fixes its sigh on the grotesque, extreme, and little explored flashpoints 
of American culture, including the true story of David Koresh and the Branch Dividians, 
the burgeoning Patriot and Militia movements, the militarization of domestic police, sex 
cults for the handicapped, Elvis cults, serpent worship, the increasing popularity of 
electroshock therapy as "normal" treatment, the cult of Sai Baba, and the strange but epic 
story surrounding the inexplicably popular 1950s "Keane" paintings of big-eyed waifs. 
Parfrey will screen videotaped evidence of the strangest cults in America. 



MEDIA FANTASIES AND REALITIES 

FILMS BY LAURA POITRAS & DAVID AND JUDITH M ACDOUGALL 

LAURA POITRAS IN PERSON 

Thursday, November 16, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Laura Poitras is an emerging independent filmmaker whose work explores a variety of 
social issues such as gender identity and media analysis. During her years in San 
Francisco, Poitras studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and at Mills College and 
worked as the San Francisco Cinematheque's Program Assistant and Technical 
Coordinator. She currently lives in New York City where she is doing graduate work at the 
New School for Social Research. 

Exact Fantasy: a film about media correspondence and bringing the stars down to 
earth (1995), by Laura Poitras; 16mm, color, sound, 27 minutes 

Exact Fantasy: a film about media correspondence and bringing the stars down to earth 
is a personal essay exploring how people forge identifications with media representations. 
The film is structured around five "found" fan letters (four written, one on audiotape) 
originally written to various public personalities. In response to these letters I have 
constructed a series of visual tableaus that build upon a tension between these letters as 
social 'objects' or 'facts,' and their mediated re-presentation within the film. 

The primary theoretical questions I want to pose in the film are: what sorts of identifications 
do we, as audience members, forge around media representations and personalities?; how 
might such identifications collapse or redefine a split between public and private?; in what 
ways do we internalize and externalize our relationships to these representations?; and 



104 



Program Notes 1995 

finally, how do the fan letters presented within the film intersect with, or resist dominant 
ideologies? The concrete and ideological sites from which these questions are posed 
include: 'home,' family, storytelling, talk-radio, dreams, food, visual pleasure, social 
alienation, TV, and others. (LP) 



Photo WaUahs (1992), by David & Judith MacDougall; 16mm, color, sound, 60 minutes 

"Renowned ethnographic filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall explore the many 
meanings of photography in this profound and penetrating documentary. The film focuses 
on the local photographers of Mussoorie, in northern India. Through a rich mixture of 
scenes that include the photographers' work, their clients, and both old and new 
photographs, this extraordinary film examines photography as art and as social artifact— a 
medium of reality, fantasy, memory, and desire." 

— University of California Extension Center for Media and Independent Leiiming 

Film/Video Rental Catalog 1995-1998 



A BRUCE CONNER CELEBRATION ! 
TELEVISION ASSASSINATION AND MORE 

BRUCE CONNER IN PERSON 

Sunday, November 19, 1995 — AMC Kabuki 8 Theatres 

The San Francisco Cinematheque is proud to present a special evening celebrating the work 
of Bruce Conner, one of America's master filmmakers and artists, including the premiere 
of Television Assassination (1995). A pivotal artist of the last four decades, Conner's work 
ranges from assemblage, photography, and drawing to a body of films for which he was 
recognized with a Maya Deren Lifetime Achievement Award from the AFI in 1988. This 
November Conner not only has two one-person shows in New York but is also included in 
a major exhibition at the Whitney Museum, Beat Culture and the New America. Conner's 
pioneering use of found footage has inspired countless filmmakers since A Movie was 
released in 1958, and tonight's program includes that seminal work as well as Cosmic Ray, 
Mongoloid, Report, The White Rose, America is Waiting, Television Assassination, Take 
the 5:10 to Dreamland, and Valse Triste. The films were selected and ordered by Bruce 
Conner. 

The films of Bruce Conner, found footage and otherwise, have had an immense impact in 
the film world. Combining and building upon a tradition of satire and irony that includes 
the Marx Brothers, Spike Jones and his City Slickers, and Marcel Duchamp, Conner has 
created a body of work that acutely satirizes the conditions of the "real" as well as the "reel" 
world. His films deal simultaneously with socio-political themes and the formality and 
playfulness of their own construction. Anthony Reveaux notes that Conner's films "are 
unique constructs composed of familiar imagery recombined into richly provocative puzzles 
that rhythmically prod the viewer to attempt reconciliations of ambiguity with the obvious 
and comic with the horrific, as irony unites anger and concern." The viewer is plunged into 
a world that is both familiar, due to the recognizable nature of the images, and unfamiliar, 
due to radical juxtapositions and recontextualization. It is the ability to combine elements as 
diverse as a car race and a famine in the "reel world" in a way that asks the viewer to try to 
come to some better understanding of the sometimes maddening fast-paced tone shifts that 
occur in the "real world" that gives Bruce Conner's films their power and excitement. 



105 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Cosmic Ray (1961); 16mm, b/w, sound, 4 minutes 

""Cosmic Ray seems like a reckless collage of fast moving parts: Comic strips, dancing 
girls, flashing lights. It is the dancing girl— hardly dressed, stripping or nude— which 
provides the leitmotif for the film. Again and again she appears— sandwiched between 
soldiers, guns, and even death in the form of a skull positioned between her legs. And if 
the statement equates sex with destruction, the cataclysm is a brilliant one, like an 
exploding firecracker, and one which ends with a cosmic bang. Of course the title also 
refers to musician Ray Charles whose art Conner visually transcribes onto film as a potent 
reality, tough and penetrating in its ability to affect some pretty basic animal instincts." 

—Carl I. Belz, Film Culture 

Mongoloid {\9^S); 16mm, b/w, sound, 4 minutes 

"The manipulation of found footage has recently become one of the cliches of rock-video 
production, albeit one usually marked by a withering literalness or ill-judged arbitrariness. 
Conner's early promo for Devo set a standard few have bothered to maintain, and exhibits 
a wholly characteristic rigor in both its formal and ironically 'illustrative' concerns. The 
mad montage of found footage astutely locates the 'brain disorder' of Devo's tasteful ditty 
in the American Psyche at large." 

—Michael O'Pray & Paul Taylor, Junk Aesthetics 

A Movie (1958); 16mm, b/w, sound, 12 minutes 

Recalling the mad parody of Hollywood montage in Duck Soup, A Movie has a lot to tell us 
about the movies. With its car chases. Cowboys and Indians, plane crashes, and a woman 
removing her stockings, it reminds us of the direct, visceral thrill we get from these classic 
images. Slowly, however, the film transforms itself into a slower, contemplative mode that 
knowingly reveals the fragility and absurdity of human existence. 

Report (\963-67)\ 16mm, b/w, sound, 13 minutes 

"Report began as a full documentary about the Kennedy assassination but fell foul of 
reproduction rights— the collagiste's occupational hazard... It opens with repeated shots of 
the motorcade, the President and Jackie waving, the rifle carried aloft in a police station, an 
ambulance. These are reprinted to create a stretched or staggered effect... The shooting itself 
is not shown, but it is reported over a violent flicker pattern, a strobe-pulse which triggers 
subjective color sensations and depth-illusions on the screen. Later, as the last rites are 
given, cycles of academy count-down leader are shown..." 

— A. L. Rees 

The White Rose (1967); 16mm, b/w, sound, 7 minutes 

"...a fine, brief, tongue-in-cheek 'documentary' of a huge painting being removed from an 
artist's studio, carried onto a Bekin's moving van with a combination of cold efficiency and 
all the lugubrious solemnity of a state funeral. It has remarkable timing and pace, and an 
'artless' style which can only come from a deep sense of what the art is all about." 

—Tom Albright 

America is Waiting {19S2)', 16mm, b/w, sound, 4 minutes 

Designed as a film to accompany a song by David Byrne and Brian Eno, America is 
Waiting uses the montage/collage technique to explore patriotism, modes of 
communication, war, and personal problems with an acute irony. America is shown to be 
waiting for something, some sort of message, and the "Hero" who shows up at the 
beginning of the film disappears leaving us in a maze of terror that includes the Bride of 
Frankenstein, Mount Rushmore, and "Larry's personal problems." 



106 



Program Notes 1995 



Television Assassination (1963-1995); 16mm, b/w, sound, 14 minutes 
San Francisco Premiere 

""Television Assassination is not only one of the best of Bruce Conner's film (thus one of 
the greatest pieces of poetic cinema ever made) but is the strongest expose of TV yet made: 
adroit use of TV-to-film black bars testifies to the 1st person singularity of Bruce Conner's 
re photography of the televised assassination, but in such a way that the terrible content of 
this event seems acted, phony, soap opera; whereas the true subject of the film— TV itself, 
its dead light, its eradicating glitches, wipes, electrical phosphorescence— appears to be 
assassinating EVERY thing in its visual grasp. The extraordinary music by Patrick Gleeson 
not only supports this dreadful envisagement but seems to be flawlessly atone with it." 

— StanBrakhage 

Take the 5:10 to Dreamland (19^7) \ 16mm, sepia tone, sound, 5: 10 minutes 

"...the state produced by a film like 5:10 to Dreamland is very similar to the feeling 
produced by a poem. The images, their mysterious relationships, the rhythm, and the 
connections impress themselves upon the unconscious. The film ends like a poem ends, 
almost like a puff, like nothing. And you sit there, in silence, letting it all sink deeper, and 
then you stand up and you know that it was very, very good." 

—Jonas Mekas, Soho Weekly News 

Valse Triste (1979); 16mm, sepia tone, sound, 4 minutes 

"Valse Triste is an homage to surrealist cinema and the belated trance film... It also 
reworks the debased popular 'dream sequence', principally by imitating one of its cliche- 
prone situations— a boy's dream about steam engines, daily chores, home, travel, and 
girls. Shorn of context, ordinary images keep their typicality but gain uniqueness, mystery 
and the aura of memory... This material is renewed, or redeemed, by stripping it of its 
sentimentality and information." 

— A. L. Rees, Monthly Film Bulletin 

BRUCE CONNER FiLMOGRAPHY 

A Movie (1958); Liberty Crown (1967); Cosmic Ray (1961); Permian Strata (1969); 
Leader (1961); Marilyn Times Five (1968-73); Vivian (1964); Crossroads (1976); Ten 
Second Film (1965); Take the 5:10 to Dreamland (1977); Breakaway (1966); Mongoloid 
(1978); Looking for Mushrooms (1961-67); Valse Triste (1979); Report (1963-67); 
America is Waiting (1982); The White Rose (1967); Television Assassination (1963-1995). 

Bruce Conner's Films On Tape Are Available For Sale Here This Evening Or From 

Canyon Cinema, 626-2255 

•program notes by Jeffery Lambert* 



ANDY WARHOLS 
VINYL AND MY HUSTLER 

Sunday, November 26, 1995 — SF Art Institute 

My Hustler (1965); 16mm, b/w, sound, 67 minutes 

Conceived in collaboration with Chuck Wein, who is actually credited as the director. My 
Hustler employs formal strategies which differ quite significantly from those characteristic 



107 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

of Warhol's work. Its more conventional scenario and the tighter quality that marks its 
narrative structure are likely the result of Wein's influence, as well as that of Paul 
Momssey, who was responsible for the sound recording. This film was not scripted by 
Tavel, a fact which undoubtedly accounts for the more prosaic, less self-consciously 
perverse character of its narrative. The film features Paul America, Ed Hood, Ed 
MacDermott and Genevieve Charbon, with America playing the hustler to Hood's 
possessive queen, the passively virile object of desire who, while himself serenely 
unconcerned to the point of disinterest, serves as the locus of the sexual tension that drives 
the film. More closely related to the later "Warhol" films more properly attributed to Paul 
Morrissey than Warhol's other films of this period. My Hustler approximates, to some 
degree, the form of soft-core pornography, although the self-consciousness and distance 
which characterize Warhol's presence are by no means entirely absent. In addition, this 
film served as an early documentation and affirmation of gay lifestyles. 

Vi/iy/ (1965); 16mm, b/w, sound, 66 minutes 

"It's an expose of sort of pseudo teddy boy delinquent New York speed heads. There's no 
moral pulled out of it, that's what I like, there's no morality involved, no pseudo 
moralizing. It's just there." 

— Ondine(1977) 

The first film adaptation of Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange, Vinyl features 
Gerard Malanga in the role of Alex (although in Vinyl this character goes by the name of 
Victor) as well as J. MacDermott and Edie Sedgwick, and is accompanied by a soundtrack 
described by Steven Koch in his Stargazer as "alternating between cacophony and the 
hideous 'acid' maundering of the Velvet Underground's insufferable navel-gazing guitars." 
The rights to the book were acquired for a purported $3,000, and the film was scripted by 
Ronald Tavel, who wrote the scenarios for many of Warhol's films, during a three-day 
period in March of 1965. The film covers only the first half of Burgess' novel, a 
circumstance apparently due to Tavel 's having managed to read only that far before writing 
his script. The film owes its exaggeratedly "stagey" (read fiat) acting to the fact that all of 
the actors are simply reading their lines from cue cards held off-screen, as none had been 
given a chance to memorize their lines. The violent eroticism of Burgess' novel is 
refocused through a self-conscious, stilted sado-masochism, epitomized by Malanga's 
"whip dance", manifesting itself as a theatrical re-creation of a mode of exchange rooted in 
the theatre of personality. This eroticism, expressed in the form of homoerotic domination 
and display, finds its counterpoint in the person of Edie Sedgwick, the silent, passive 
observer to the drama of the film proper. The sole female figure in an implosive teleology 
of masculine self-annihilation, she marks the screen most conspicuously in the moments of 
her absence, displaying the fundamental distance of the non-participant, the disengaged 
presence that enables the hyperbole of drama. 

•program notes by Brian Frye* 



SEASONAL F O R C E S - A SONOMA COUNTY ALMANAC 
JANIS CRYSTAL LiPZIN IN PERSON 

Thursday, November 30, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

"Her films are like a whole new religion! They are such a complete sensibility that they 
open up another world— what we used to call 'transcendental'" 



108 



Program Notes 1995 

—Joyce Wieland 

Janis Crystal Lipzin, a distinguished member of the filmmaking faculty at the San 
Francisco Art Institute since 1978, is currently Director of the Undergraduate Studio 
Program. A filmmaker, photographer and intermedia artist, Lipzin has presented her work 
internationally, including installations and screenings of her films at Museum of Modern 
Art (New York), Musee Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Stadtkino (Vienna) and the 
Institute for Contemporary Art, London. Her many awards include three grants from the 
National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently completing for publication an anthology 
of critical writing by and about women filmmakers: An Editing Room of her Own: A New 
Lens for an Old Camera. 

"[Janis Crystal Lipzin] 's films are just what the doctor ordered!" 

— Mollis Frampton 

The Bladderwort Document {197S), S-8mm, color, silent, 12 minutes 
A modest diary film made in 1978 when I spent six months living at a place called 
Bladderwort Farm in southwestern Ohio. This land was named after the only insectivorous 
plant native to North America. In this film and my color photographic work, I am 
concerned with gathering what Andre Bazin called "molds of light" (although I use the term 
somewhat differently). Here I play with light: pick it up and embrace it, throw it around, 
pierce it, and wiggle it. I used Super-8mm equipment to suggest the intimacy of an amateur 
home movie. (JCL) 

"The Bladderwort Document is a visionary document of Bladderwort Farm, is a fleeting, 
silent documentary that tumbles out of your projector, builds suspense, twists, folds in on 
itself, glides, smiles, then flies back into the projector. A subjective study of implosions, 
explosions and reflections of light, it grabs you by the lapel and sings." 

—Tony Dallas (Cinemanews #78-5) 

"[Gertrude] Stein says in Composition as Explanation (1926), The business of Art is to 
live in the actual present, that is the complete actual present, and to express that complete 
actual present.' The imagery used in The Bladderwort Document has this same quality of 
fluid language: winter trees advancing and receding / the color spectra of natural light / 
shadows on a soft wood noor...The visuals move past in an additive fashion as in music: 
textures of animal fur/the quivering of light through leaves/an ambiguous space shown 
from a variety of angles." 

— Margaret (Peggy) Ahwesh, Field of Vision 

Seasonal Forces— A Sonoma County Almanac, Parts 1 and 2 (1995); 
S-8 mm, color and b/w, sound, 46 minutes 

Lipzin's most recent film. Seasonal Forces, reflects the terms and evolution of her 
engagement with the phenomena which shape the environment in which she lives and 
works. 

Seasonal Forces explores the interplay between two facets of the stream of historical 
events, emphasizing their covalence and mutuality as they are inscribed upon the fabric of 
memory. One facet encompasses the atomic events of collective, social history which 
become critical points of the personal -historical narrative. The other highlights the cyclical, 
unfixed epiphanies which resonate within the moments of everyday life. 



109 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

At times the filmmaker assumes the (not necessarily impartial) distance of the observer, 
documenting the fact of natural disaster or tracking the sun on its daily voyage from 
horizon to horizon. At other times, she immerses the viewer in the brilliant immediacy of 
experience, marveling at the new harvest or the clamor of machinery. In this way, the film 
identifies the tensions which bind author and text, speaker and spx^ken. 

The histories of the spaces Lipzin identifies are, as always, written in the interval between 
event and recollection that constitutes the sum of experience. They blossom in the 
rarefaction of the social sphere, drawing in on themselves the remnants of the presence it 
mediates and making meaningful the events that constitute the markers of histories. 

— Brian Frye 

The first two sections of Seasonal Forces explore the conjunction of human and natural 
events unfolding in rural areas everywhere, especially Northern California. In constructing 
the film, I have drawn on footage shot over the past 22 years— some appropriated from 
commercial sources, some hand-processed, others processed in Toronto at the only lab in 
North America processing such obsolete film stock as I employed. The variety of types and 
ages of the film stock is reflected in the colors and textures which, in turn, illuminate the 
various events in the film. An arbor covered with wisteria blooms extravagantly, only to 
collapse under the weight of a late Spring rain. It is rebuilt and the cycle begins again. In 
between occur an arson, flood, earthquake, wildfire, planting and the harvest. 

Part 2 reflects on the animals in our lives and their relation to us and to each other as 
providers of food, companionship, clothing and sport. Part 3 alludes to current land use 
controversies such as the dissonance between agricultural homesteads and tract 
developments; decades-old gardens destined to be abandoned to bulldozers, and the 
transformation of orchards into vineyards. 

These events have been recorded on the skeletal remains of a material (the Super-8 film 
format) which had a life time of only 30 years. Utilizing a medium considered obsolete in 
the age of digital imaging, brought to mind Aldo Leopold's 1949 classic conservationist's 
memoir, A Sand County Almanac, in which he posed: 'We face the question of whether a 
still higher standard of living is worth its cost in things natural and free.' His assertion 
precedes and informs my work in which I observe the changes occurring around me as I 
attempt to understand what it means to cultivate a sense of place in time. (JCL) 

Home Entertainment Center for a Farmworker ( 1989); a film-sculpture 

constructed from materials found on Lipzin's farm in western Sonoma county which 
incorporates a re-edited version of a commercial film, originally an advertisement for 
pesticide-distribution machinery. Dovetailing with the concerns addressed in Seasonal 
Forces, this sculpture recognizes the poisonous hazards endured by the people who work 
in the orchards and vineyards of Sonoma County, offsetting this continuing exploitation 
with a literal alternative: examples of produce grown by the artist using only the non-toxic 
diatomaceous earth with which they are dusted. 

•program notes by Brian Frye» 



FIRST FESTIVAL CELLULOIDALL 
TIMOLEON WlLKINS IN PERSON 

Sunday, December 3, 1995 — SF Art Institute 



110 



Program Notes 1995 




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PH<J.T;0GRAPHIC MATCRIU.I} 
I , 'MOTtpN^ricnwt FILM. iHOT OAwdUAw/ 



Y'CB.S't FESTIVAL 



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ik,*dtaa3r«»rt<i«"eil««i««51«- Too nrret aw Jeas 

' Siaodsn^t^Mxsbt (1995) by ICchacl McCoy. , 

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KsB Xi7«t is X nodist bat Isrid Eedachnou orijinaL 'iirr 



CELLULOIDALL December 3. 199| 

g g;g 7^ (1962) by Bruce BaiUie. isimx. 

BXW/MBad, 10 mia. CoBuaisioBed by th» tart Bay A 
Ctatr for Emptiaaally I5ist«b«l Ouldita, tiis nrly Bailli. fila 
^ow: lit el«u btyaaia^ c< Jus masttty «< datnatsmakr »ad 



j«Lal ^«=isa i» ^1" «**•* 



■ ^gry Important- A Bird Walked On It (1995) 
by Eric Waidemar. iSoua, Btw/ni«at. s mia., 24 ffs. 

Thtn is a fairly otoism mosicai Anctut hett. bat an* pt: 
iat« a Idad «( tnac* wbta paiatia; filn fnmt by ftamt aad «• 
as In: larp dKidsur vithsat ntirtiy oadtrrtaadia; tb« raozso: 
for thtm Tht rtcnit in tki: cui i: a land dL vhiasal t«mt. A 
bird did. ia {act. valk en tbi: filai whta I bad it nilid sat aa thi 
paT*m*at u :nl tb* paiat wttb a (inttr* < E 7 ) tr.z 



I - » J - "•• uuu amis uw THWi 

J sUU i iaToJnmeBt £ar bfyead tii taaes af itaadard 

doeamtatary. ereatia? i li«mfelt potm which qaistioi: thi iaatr 
I e«fliet bitwtea nnrtwin? aad wriliaj w to ehildrro 

I -c^'cr <r iT A-^. " j .rafsr s'.Ci-r: itrf aesHaracir. Oi 



d,n«stiat» « ^VftL iMnf-Xu ««to ^^ ' ^ 

I 'luire (1957) by Bruce Conner, lema. ed«f/nieat. is 

mia.. 21 fp Thi aa£ttr i fsoad-footag* filinnulfiTH tnro: his 
Uttlt oatn OB the mta wttb tbo bif camno: ia tliis iat« boBir 
msri* (limp:t btbiad tbt R«ats i. Uii filniaf ti Ccal Sud Ldn. 
Wo :ot. ia a elase Ccnatr mistiut of peMry aad dry wit, Paol 

I Ntwrnia, Dtnais Hopjtr, Harry Dns Staatai aad tit aw»i« atm 

I toniinf a quitt country rtnd ia ctntnl Calilsraia into a B a ixtom l 
of RcUyweod cxptaditon. This e tit only priat ontddt d XOICA': I 
aithiTt:, aad b aa optieaUy :ttp-ptiat*d bl«w-af fron tii tngiBall 

Umm. Star arjx:st::csts!aie:ianaie/r tit Sin sties tea 
iis jmi= Sts Fxxsee fs oner jiT/wje St .Toestf rtissta&ai 
Her Tek fbee ts Ssi id tii «^ir»mricartn'j£ tht Whtscf 
iiisns ': "Bat (Tiisr isi tbt Vrr- ABrr.a ' .Tl.-ir3acl.Tr i&s 
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I Cggtr's Ink Mot Da^rst* im /mtsrai a tit hejr eenr a^fear *JJ. 



fg Aba aarfiW (1981) by David IC "Catty" 

LeUgerS. Warn. BlW/mad, 3 ait. Ti» Bitt IBaa Mi- 
I mora I wtr madt-a ieai nont I radt f« ny f»r«tts hawt 
ltoc«ltbiaUtbtir35tbaaaiT.r=U7 I ffln«i lit «tii» Bwit « 
my tnirty 100 ft. Load Aarieoa Oar Vole, that I bad jast 
rat«bas«d fwB tht erijiaal watr's :a wit bad iaitrtUd H at 
dida't waat »« tit mas that ii: iad bad talaa. Oabrtmk. 
this idi* jast tirtw oat tit films lad aid tit eamm U ■• fc 
1 9B«. (Ci.) a«ri«»«-'^-"^»^'^ '^^ fSm^-M ant 

1^^(1993) by Bruce Mer. Sipn 8, Mi«/inii 

Bin., 18 ffc A straight- forward dacaantary fm til 
backwoods 4 Ttancst*. Ttrry 'Doe* PaxttB disetssM ud 
diatutntts tit fiar peiat: of *yov arttaft baiiy ear*, tit 
I Olds nabilt 441 Bna IC^ltr JTts £ Su fhxaca. 

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.^..rf by tbeif i«taU. 






111 



San Francisco Cinematheque 



JAMES BENNINGS DESERET 
James benning In person 

Thursday, December 7, 1995 — Center for the Arts 

Currently teaching at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, and a 
filmmaker for over twenty-five years, James Benning has made a significant contribution to 
American experimental cinema. His concern for American culture, in both its contemporary 
and historical guises, has consistently and eloquently informed his entire body of work, 
which includes 11x14, One -Way Boogie Woogie, Landscape Suicide, North On Evers and 
many others. His remarkably successful integration of structural and narrative concerns is a 
testament to his versatility, and indicates possible directions of cinematic endeavor which as 
yet remain largely unplumbed. 

Deseret {1995, San Francisco Premiere); 16mm, color/b/w, sound, 80 minutes 
As a filmmaker, James Benning has consistently concerned himself with the space in which 
texts articulate the distinction between the structural elements which determine their form 
and the body of information contained by that formal structure. While examinations of both 
form and function are ubiquitous to experimental cinema, Benning has chosen to forego the 
polemicism that has often accompanied these efforts, working toward an equilibrium that 
engages the covalence and interdependence of narrative and structural elements. Occupying 
a familiarly idiosyncratic position on the point of intersection of these variant tropes, his 
new film, Deseret, juxtaposes radically discontinuous visual and textual information 
through the lens of an apparently arbitrary formal schema, engaging these disparate 
elements in an investigation of the relationship between history and the space in which it is 
written. Visually, the film consists of a series of tableau shots of the Utah landscape, 
unitary in their sense of brooding solitude and desolation, comprising a virtual summation 
of the significance of that space on its own terms. Two overarching structures determine 
the formal relationship between these images and the text that they parallel, both of which 
serve to situate the visual, metaphorical space contained by the images within the historical, 
literal space of the text. Each image occupies the space of time of one sentence of the text, 
emphasizing the passage of filmic time, while the shift from black and white to color 
follows the turn of the century, marking the passage of historical time. The text itself 
consists of a series of 93 condensations of newspaper articles which appeared in the New 
York Times over the course of the 96 years it has existed, all of which concern some aspect 
of the political entity now known as the State of Utah. Taking its title from the name that 
the Territory of Utah originally proposed for itself upon the occasion of its entry into the 
Union, Deseret in fact tracks the evolution of these two corporate entities, the New York 
Times and the Church of Mormon, from their historically contemporary births through the 
present, addressing the shifts in their relationship through historical space and the 
incommensurability of this history to the physical space in which it occurred. It is here that 
the explosive, uncontainable, irrational significance of the text is generated; in the 
irreconcilable collision of the image and the word, which negate each other in the assertion 
of their atomic singularity. The film situates itself in the context of that corpus of films 
which address this mutual atomism, one which includes such work as Hollis Frampton's 
Nostalgia and Straub/Huillet's Too Early/Too Late , although it does so through a 
particular concern for a space and sensibility specific to Benning's work, one which does 
not partake of the formal purity or polemical politics of these other works. Benning's 
stance is an equivocal one— he neither claims a necessary interpolation of ideological 
presence in spaces nor despairs of engaging with these terms outside of the realm of the 
individual, but rather allows the presence of ideology to make its presence known and felt 
in the spaces left unfilled by its authors. 

•program notes by Brian Frye* 



112 



Program Notes 1995 

STEVE FAGIN'S MEMORIAL DAY (OBSERVED) 
WITH SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS 

STEVE Fagin In Person 

Sunday, December 10, 1995 — SF Art Institute 

Steve Fagin targets the "major fantasies governing the history of the Western world" to 
present a re-reading of history that exposes the illusion and misrecognition that passes as 
historical fact. His work incorporates a mixture of appropriated and original footage, stage- 
play and real events to reveal a past in which the mythical, the surreal, and the fictional find 
free reign. Fagin's tapes focus on a variety of issues, from the evangelization of South 
America to orientalism in the writings of Raubert and Roussel. His work consistently 
revolves around issues of history and representation, investigating new and old ways in 
which "the other" is seen in Western culture, how opinion is gathered and value secreted. 
The San Francisco Cinematheque is pleased to present tonight's screening of Mr. Fagin's 
latest video piece Memorial Day (Observed) which was commissioned by KCET public 
television as part of a creative project on notions of democracy. It will be followed by the 
film with which it was designed to be shown, Alexander MacKendrick's Sweet Smell of 
Success (1957). 

Memorial Day (Observed) (1995), by Steve Fagin; video, color, sound, 12 minutes 

"They can never attain as much as they desire. It perpetually retires from before them, yet 
without hiding itself from sight, and in retiring draws them on. At every moment, they 
think they are about to grasp it; it escapes at every moment from their hold. They are near 
enough to see its charms, but too far off to enjoy them; and before they have fully tasted its 
delights, they die." —Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America ( 1840) 

This short piece observes the observance of Memorial Day 1995, in Columbus, Ohio. It is 
meant to be an updated 'acting out' of the above wisdom of de Tocqueville. Through a 
series of quotidian exchanges, a couple's frustrations are staged, shifting abruptly among 
soap opera, Brechtian distanciation, and psychoanalytic possession. These are the great 
grandchildren of the America that de Tocqueville observed over 150 years ago-an America 
that does not only suffer from the absence of democracy, but suffers at its heart and in its 
heartland from the expectations of democracy itself. (SF) 

Sweet Smell of Success ( 1957), by Alexander MacKendick; 
35mm, b/w, sound, 96 minutes 

In British director Alexander MacKendrick's first Hollywood picture, Burt Lancaster and 
Tony Curtis compete for the honor of most despicable man in a contest scripted by Clifford 
Odets from Ernest Lehman's novella "Tell Me About it Tomorrow." It's a jazzy, smoky 
film filled with bravura performances and dialogue that brilliantly teeters on the brink of 
incomprehensibility. Lancaster is J.J. Hunsecker, a megalomaniac newspaper columnist in 
what is possibly his best performance. Tony Curtis plays against type as well as a sleazy 
press agent: "the man with the ice cream face... who has the scruples of a guinea hen and 
the morals of a gangster." The story itself is an insider's view of the seamy underside of 
the New York entertainment industry, complete with cigarette girls, jazz clubs, the Chico 
Hamilton Quartet and tons of bitterness manifesting itself in Odets's blistering dialogue. 
Lines like "watch me run a fifty yard dash with my legs cut off" are perfectly matched by 
MacKendrick's kinetic film style. Sweet Smell of Success is the film that the Coen brothers 
have been trying to make for years. 

•program notes by Jeffery Lambert* 



113 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

MEMORY: COVERED DISCOVERED RECOVERED 

CURATED BY IRINA LEIMBACHER 

Thursday, December 14, 1995 — Center for the Arts 



...memory offers film its ultimate problem: how to represent the mind's landscape, 
whose images and sequential logic are always hidden from view. " 

—David MacDougall, 'Films of Memory' 

This evening the San Francisco Cinematheque presents four films —one award-winning 
documentary and three experimental shorts— that evoke the fleeting and elusive nature of 
human memory. Finnish filmmaker Kiti Luostarinen's Tell Me What You Saw, which won 
the 1995 Golden Gate Award for Best Sociology Documentary at the San Francisco 
International Film Festival yet is still not distributed in the United States, explores six 
siblings' and their mother's radically different reconstructions of the past in what seems to 
have been an abusive family. This film, which belies the nature of traditional documentary 
because ultimately absolutely nothing in it is certain, will be followed by Srinivas 
Krishna's Tell Me What You Saw, Barbara Hammer's Optic Nerve, and Phil Solomon's 
Remains to be Seen which each use the texture and material of film to mimic the exquisite 
transience of what may and may not be remembered, and which, dwelling as intently on 
absence as on presence, place memory solidly in the context of forgetting. 

Tell Me What You Saw (1992), by Kiti Luostarinen; 16mm, color, sound, 52 minutes 

"A journey into the mysterious world of memory and oblivion through the eyes of a family 
consisting of five sisters, one brother, and a mother suffering from dementia. The grown- 
up children's' memories of their common past differ radically, even to the point of being 
comically contrary in nature. And the mother fails to remember that she has any children at 
all. What is a human being when past events vanish into total oblivion? What is the logic 
and power of memory?" 

—Finnish Film Foundation 

Kiti Luostarinen has made fifteen short films and videos (many for Finnish television), and 
also works in photography and design. She studied philosophy at the University of 
Helinski. 

Tell Me What You Saw (1994), by Srinivas Krishna; 16mm, b/w, silent, 7 minutes 

"One weekend, I went to the farm of Philip Hoffman, a Toronto filmmaker, and there I met 
Kiti. ...I soon discovered Kiti's obsession with all the dead little creatures we found in the 
fields. Kiti began to film them. I began to film her. All the while, Kiti would tell me about 
her film, a beautiful sad film about memory, its loss, and the consequences. Our 
conversations about forgetfulness and the terrible silence it brings on still live with me. My 
film is silent. 1 called it Tell Me What You Saw. It is a portrait of Kiti during our weekend 
in the farm." 

— Sirinivas Krishna 

Srinivas Krishna lives in Canada and has made a feature film, Masala, as well as other 
experimental works. 

Optic Nerve (1985), by Barbara Hammer; 16mm, color & b/w, sound, 16 minutes 

"Barbara Hammer's Optic Nerve is a powerful personal reflection on family and aging. 
Hammer employs filmed footage which, through optical printing and editing, is layered and 



114 



Program Notes 1995 

manipulated to create a compelling meditation on her visit to her grandmother in a nursing 
home. The sense of sight becomes a constantly evolving process of reseeing images 
retrieved from the past and fused into the eternal present of the projected image..." 

—John Hanhardt, 1987 Whitney Museum Biennial Exhibition Catalogue 

Barbara Hammer is one of the most prolific experimental filmmakers working today, with 
over 50 films to her credit. Optic Nerve was included in the 1987 Whitney Biennial; her 
most recent work is the autobiographical. 

Remains to be Seen (1989), by Phil Solomon, S-8mm, color, sound, 17.5 minutes 

"In the melancholic Remains to be Seen, dedicated to the memory of Solomon's mother, 
the scratchy rhythm of a respirator intones menace. The film, optically crisscrossed with 
tiny eggshell cracks, often seems on the verge of shattering... Solomon measures emotions 
with images that seem stolen from a family album of collective memory." 

— Manohla Dargis, Village Voice 

Phil Solomon has made over 20 films and recently has collaborated with Stan Brakhage on 
a number of works. Remains to be Seen won the First Prize at the 1990 Oberhausen Short 
Film Festival. 



homescreening 

CURATED BY NATHANIEL DORSKY & CHRISTIAN FARRELL 

Sunday, December 17, 1995 — SF Art Institute 

Sar\ Fraacisco C iaerfvaHveaue fre^tivU 
koinescreeRiT\Q 

lHj« , i mia tjcK. , Color ^^ ^*^ , ^^ ff< » B/w , s\\c^\ . 

i. I fniO. 

It «m , M fp . color , Jc.Ut ' -''^'' - ^'^"^^ 

^ 115 



Rlmmaker Index 



-A- 

Ackennan, Dueane 40 
Ackerman, Ralph 40 
Adams, HoUy 68 
Adrian, Maik 15-16 
Ahwesh, Peggy 50 
Alexander, Kluge 
All Projector Orchestra 101 
Allan, William 78 
Alvarez, Alfonso 23-24, 89 
Anger, Kenneth 61 
Angerame, Dominic 49 
Anker, Steve 89 
Arnold, Martin 1, 17 
Avery, Caroline 7 

-B- 

B., Beth 26 

BaiUie, Bruce 45-49, 81,111 
Baldwin, Craig 52 
Balletbo-Coll, Marta 96 
Beatty, Maria 68 
Beauvais, Yaim 97-99 
Beckett Plus One Productions 
62 

Benning, James 1 12 
Billops, Camille 63 
Black, Andrew 84 
Black, Julie X. 72 
Blackout, Moucle 4, 16 
Blair, Linda 3 1-33 
Bouhours, Jean Michel 97 
Bradfute, Luther 101 
Brakhage, Stan 
29-31,34-36,51,56,61 
Brehm, Dietmar 1, 4 
Broughton, James 80 
Bruno, Christian 89 
Bruno, Hlen 91 

-C- 

Cameron, Donna 6 
Chapman, J.G. 90 
Charlton, Robert 79 
Cheang, Shu Lea 96 
Child, Abigail 84 
Christanell, Linda 16 
Cine Lourdes 40 
Church, Tom 61 
Coleman, Jeremy 6, 1 1 1 
Conner, Bruce 
81, 105-107, 111 
Cooper, Bruce 111 

-D- 

The Dactyls 101 
Daniel, Bill 111 
Danielson, Rick 89 



De Bniyn, Dirk 6 
deGrasse, Herb 60 
DiLillo, Lisa 68 
Domenghini, Gecrffe 88 
Drew, Jesse 70 
Dye, Steven 101 

-E- 

Ertl,Geriiard5 
Export, Valie 1,4.8 

-F- 

Faccinto, Victor 61 
Fagin, Steve 
Finley, Jeanne C. 73-74 
Fischinger, Oskar 13 
Fontaine, C6cile 97 
Frye, Brian 40, 88. 89,111 
Fulton. Jessica 71, 72 

-G- 

Gaine Ellen 13 
Gehr, Ernie 40-42, 77 
Geiser, Janie 50 
GiOTgio, Grace 68 

-H- 

Hammer, Barbara 82, 1 14 
Hans Scheirl, Angela 3, 7 
Harrington, Sheila 72 
Hatch, James V. 63 
Hatfield, Terry 40 
Hayenga, Megan 88 
Haynes, Todd 96 
Hershman, Lynn 69-70 
Hiebler, Sabine 5 
Hiler, Jerome 115 
Hill, Chris 20-22 
Hills, Henry 9-12 
Hima, B 68 
Hosier, Mark 52 
Houlberg, Mia Lor 70 
Hughes-Freeland, Tessa 
26,68 
Hurwitz, Elise 71. 72, 89 



-J- 

Janos, Dan 40 
Johnsen, Michael 111 
jOTdan, Larry 83 

-K- 

Kaplan, Bonnie 101 
Kelley, Mike 103 
Kern, Richard 26-27 
Khachadoorian, Penyamin 
115 



Kirby, Lynn 78, 83 
Klein, Laura 40 
Kluge, Alexander 65-67 
Kordon, Renate 4 
Korschil, Thomas 5, 77 
Kren, Kurt 1,3,4,5 
Krishna, Srinivas 1 14 
Kubelka, Peter 1,2 
Kudiar, George 54, 60 



-L- 

Land, Owen (aka Landow 
George) 60 
Lebrat. Christian 97 
Lee, Annabel 26. 67 
Lemaitre. Maurice 98-99 
Leugers. David M. "Casey' 
111 

Levine. Paula 70, 80, 85 
Lipman. Ross 13 
Lipzin, Janis Crystal 79, 
108-110 

Livingston, Jennie 96 
Lowder, Rose 97 
Luostarinen. Kiti 1 14 
Lye, Len 6 



MacDougall, David & Judith 
105 

MacKendick, Alexander 1 13 
MacLaine, Christopher 81 
Mader, R. 40 
Maggenti, Maria 96 
Mangolte, Babette 13 
Manning, Caitlin 27-29 
Martillano, Rose B. 72 
Massingale, Danielle 68 
Mattuschka. Mara 1, 4 
Maysles, Albert 79 
Maysles, David 79 
McAbee, Cory 101 
McCarthy, Paul 103-104 
McCoy. Michael 1 1 1 
McDowell, Curt 61 
Merritt, Toney 84 
Michalak, David 101 
Mideke, Michael 115 
Miller, Bruce 1 1 1 
Minh-ha, Trinh T. 94-96 
MdTatt, Tracey 14 
Moholy-Nagy, Laszlo 13 
Moritsugu, Jon 99 
Motisher, Lewis 1 1 1 
Miiller, Matthias 7 
Muse, John 73-74 



Rlmmaker Index 



-N- 

Nauman, Bruce 78 

Negativeland52 

Nelson, Gunvor 43 

Nelson, Robert 60,82 

Noren, Andrew 51 



O'Kane. Kerri 88 
Ono.Yoko 17-18, 57 
Ostrovsky, Vivian 97 

-P- 

Packenham, Steve 40 
Parfrey, Adam 104 
Parker, Alice Ann 82 
Parrish, Shawn 88 
Pfeifer, Judith 40, 88 
Plotnick, Danny 90 
Poitras, Laura 104-105 
Polanszky, Rudolf 4 
Pollack, Ghana 71, 72 
Ponger, Lisl 5 
Povey, Thad 23-24, 90 
Piirrer, Ursula 7 

-R- 

Radax, Ferry 3 

RAP, Dr. Francisco 

Gonzalez, Lisa Swenson 70 

Robin, Daniel 63 

Rose, Peter 77 "* 

Rosenberger, Johannes 3 

Rosow, Laura 

Ross, Rock 6 

Rouch, Jean 36-40 

Rudnick, Michael 6, 76, 83 

-S- 

Sale,eizabeth71,72 
Salloum, Jayce 25 
Sandler, Arlene 26 
Scalph, Tena 111 
Schaller, Robert 111 
Scheugl, Hans 1, 5 
Schipeck, Dietmar 3 
Schlemowitz, Joel 7 
Schmidt Jr., Ernst 13 
Schneemann, Carolee 68 
Scott, Mary 72 
silt 115 

Shepard, Joel 89 
Snow, Michael 60 
Solomon, Phil 50, 115 
Sonbert, Warren 74-76 
Stanley, Anie 26 
Stanormieri, E)ean 101 



Steiner, Konrad 1 15 
Strand, Chick 60 
Szirtes, Andras 13 

-T- 

Taylor, Jocelyn 26 
Toufic, Jalal 25 
Trunk, Mary 71, 72 
Tscherkassky, Peter 1, 16 

-V- 

Van Sant, Gus 96 

-W~ 

Waldemar, Eric 111 
Wallin, Michael 84, 92-93 
Warhol, Andy 107-108 
White, Jacalyn L. 83 
Wiley, Dorothy 43 
Wiley, William T. 82 
Wilkins, Timoleon 
6,89, 111 

Wilhams, Marco 14-15 
Wiseman, Frederick 86-87 
Wishman, Doris 19 
Wittenstein, Alyce 54 
Wong, Al 77 
Wood, Kim 71, 72 
Work Practice and 
Technology Group 74 
Wright, Charles 84 
Wright, Georgia B. 67 

Zwerin, Charlotte 79 



Film Title I^fDEX 



— A— 

The Abbotess and the Flying Bone 3 

Adebar2 

Ahem 23 

All My Life 46, 81 

All Women Have Periods 64 

ALLMIXEDUP88 

Along the ^y 92 

. . .and then god became disoriented in the forest of 

higher animals ... 90 
The Angel of Woolworth's 72 
America is Waiting 106 
AraulfRainer2 
An Arrangement of Nineteen Scenes Relating to a 

Trip to Japan 115 
automatic writing 71 

— B— 

Bad Girls Go lb Hell 19 

Baglight 6 

Bali M6canique 11 

Beat 81 

Beautiful People/Beautiful Friends 69, 70 

Bed Bug 101 

Before Need Redressed 43 

The Bitches 27 

The Bladderwort Document 109 

Black Ice 56 

Black Movie n 16 

Black Sheep Boy 93 

Blessed 91 

Bloodsucker's Delight 111 

Blue Sun Western 111 

Body Bomb 27 

Body-Building 7 

Bodybuilding 1 

Bodylyrics 1 88 

Bouquets 1-1097 

Bom Innocent 32 

Breakfast 60 

Brothers & Sisters 40 

Buntes Blut (Colorful Blood) 4 

By the Sea 84 

— C— 

Cable Car Melody 84 
'camera rolls' 49 
Canada Dry TUmor 111 
Cannot Not Exist 57 
Carriage Ti-ade 75 
Cartoon le Mousse 60 
Case P-200 70 
Castro Street 46 
Celluloidall 111 
Cha-Hit Frames 6 
Changes 64 
Chaos, Chaos 40 
Chronique d'un 6l6 
(Chronicle of a Summer) 36,40 



Cliff House 115 

Color Adjustment 111 

Color de Luxe 1 

Color Flight 6 

The Color of Love 50 

Coming Home 96 

Conversations Across The Bosphorous 73 

Cosmic Ray 106 

Crabbing 72 

The Creative Process? 88 

Credits Included 

A Video in Red and Green 25 

Crossing the Bar 84 

CrossRoad 7 

Cult Rapture 104 






— D— 

Das Schwartz Herz "Ropft 

(The Black Heart Leaks) 7 
Dawn 13 

Decision: Alcohol 31 
Decodings92 

Deep Peep & Love Controls Time 40 
The Deflowering 54 
Delugion 83 
Der Angriff der Gegenwart auf die ubrige Zeit (The 

Blind Director) 67 
Der Elvis 100 

Der musikalische Affe (The Musical Ape) 4 
Der Ort der Zeit (The Place of Time) 5 
Der Regen (The Rain) 16 
Der Untergang der Titania 

(The Sinking of Titania) 4 
Deseretll2 

A Different Kind of Green 24 
Die Ewigkeit von Gestem 

(The Eternity of Yesterday) 65 
Die Geburt der Venus (The Birth of Venus) 4 
The Discipline of De 96 
Dirty 26 

Dog of Nazareth (excerpt) 111 
Double Agent 19 
Duermete Ninita 24 

— E— 

EasWest 85 

El Fuego 101 

The End 6 

Engorge Gobble and Gulp 68 

Epilogue 7 

Erection 58 

Es hat mich sehr gefreut 

(I Have Been Very Pleased) 4 
Exact Fantasy 104 

Fearful Symmetry 84 
Feuerioscher E.A. Wittenstein 

(Fireman E.A. Wittenstein) 66 
Figure/Ground (The Snowman) 50 



Film Title Index 



Film For... 24 

Film Watchers 60 

Filmreste (Film Scraps) 3 

Fingers and Kisses 96 

Fircpage 111 

Fog Line 34 

Four in the Afternoon 80 

Fragment 13 

Fhiu Balckbum, geb. 5 Jan. 1872, wird gelfilmt 

(Mrs. Balckbum, bom January 5, 1872, is 

filmed) 66 
Ftom Beijing to Brooklyn 26 
FUji 33 

— G— I 

gajol-gusal 40 

Gay Pride 4 89 

George 10 

Getting Closer 31 

Gezacktes Rinnsal schleicht sich schamlos 

schenkelnassend an 8 
The Gifted Goon 56 
Gills Beware 32 
Gotham 10 
The Great Blondino 82 

— H— 

Hall of Mirrors 75 

Heidi 103 

Here I Am 111 

Hemalsl 

High Heel Nights 26 

High School 86-87 

The History of Tbxas City 111 

Home Entertainment Center for a Farm 

Worker 110 
Horoscope 27 
Hot Heads 96 

— I— 

I am a Mechanic 40 

I Change I Am the Same 82 

I Smell the Blood of an Englishman 23 

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For 

(acapella video mix, w.i.p.) 52 
I Still Haven't Found What Tm Looking For (radio 

mix) 52 
I Zupt 49 111 
Imaginary Light 51 
In a Quiet Place 32 
In Consideration of Pompeii 51 
In Passing 71 

In the Breast of Nature, part n 115 
In Search of Our Fathers 14-15 
Interior Scroll: the Cave 68 
Intrepidissima 96 

— J— 

Janie32 



— K— 

The KKK Boutique Ain't Just Rednecks 63 

Kaiserschnitt (Ceasarcan Section) 4 

Kaleidoscope 6 

Kilometer 123.5 40 

Kindering 61 

King Midas 101 

Kino Da! 10 

Kino-il3 

Kugelkopt (Ballhead) 1 

— L— 

La P6che miraculeuse 

(The Miraculous Catch of Fish) 97 
La Reina 24 

Land's End Field Notes 115 
Landscape No. 1: 

Outside the gold frame. Inside the car window 78 
Landscape No. 2: 

Selection from 36 hours on 24th Street 80 
Landscape No. 3: 

C to C — Several Centuries After the Double Slit 

Experiment 83 
Last Gasp 83 

Lehrer im >\^del (Tfeachers Through Change) 66 
Les mattres fous 

(The Crazy Masters; Mad Masters; Master 

Madmen) 36-39 
Let's Go to the Bad World 89 
Light Years Expanding 43 
Lightplay, black-white-grey 13 
Little Lieutenant 11 
Looking for Mushrooms 81 
Love Between a Boy and a Girl 70 
Luke 111 
Lunchbox 27 

— M— 

Mad Poets of Frisco 40 

Mammals of Victoria 57 

The Man Who Could Not See Far Enough, 

Part V 77 
Manhattan Love Suicides 27 
Manifestoon 70 
Mann & Frau & Animal 

(Man & Woman & Animal) 1 
Mantra 72 

Manufraktur (Manufacture) 1 
Mass For the Dakota Sioux 46 
Matzo Balls and Black-eyed Peas 63 
Media Darling 24 
Memorial Day (Observed) 113 
Memory Eye (1988), 23 
Midweekend 7 
Mirror, Mirror 70 
Miss Somebody 71 
Mongoloid 106 
The Mongreloid 60 



Film Title Index 



Mosaik im Vertrauen 

(Mosaic in Confidence) 1, 2 
motel six 24 
Motion Picture 

(La Sortie des Ouvriers de I'Usine Lumiere a 

Lyon) 5 
A Movie 106 
Mr. Hayashi 45 
Munchen-Beriin Wanderung 

(Munich-Berlin \\^king THp) 13 
The Murder Mystery 4 
The Museum of Modem Art Show 18 
My Friend 96 
My Good Eye 89 
My HusUer 107-108 
My Nightmare 27 

— N— 

NabelFabel (NavelFable) 4 

Nachrichten von den Stauffem 

(News from the Hohenstaufifens) 66 
Name Day 96 
Nazi 27 

"Negativland mixing U2" 52 
New Improved Institutional Quality 
In the Environment of Liquids and Nasals a 

Parasitic Vowel Sometimes Develops 60 
New York Long Distance 97 
Noah's Ark... a Neozapatista Delirium 29 
Night Cries 14 
Nirvina of the Nebbishites 56 
No. 4 (Bottoms) 18 
Nude on the Moon 19 
Nyphomania 68 

— O— 

Obital Loop n 101 
The Off-Handed Jape 60 
Open for Business 24 
Optic Nerve 114 
Orange 16 

— P— 

The P-38 Pilot 47 

P.R.A.TE.R. 3 

Pacific Far East Lines 84 

Painter 103 

Panorama 76 

Parallel Space: Inter-View 16 

Parasympathica 4 

passage il'actel 

Pause! 1 

Perumos 

(Bombs in Czech; Lightning in Romany) 22 
Photo Wallahs 105 
pidce touch6e 17 
Pillow Thlk 90 
Portraiture in Black 56 
Portrat einer Behwarung 

(Proven Competence Portrayed) 66 



Prelude 28 
Premonition 49 
Primate 86-87 

Quick Billy 48 
Quixote 47 
Quixote Dreams 23 

— R— 

Rabbit's Moon 61 

Random 16 

Rape 58 

Rape Alert 64 

Rear \\^mdow 41 

Recollection 71 

The Red Book 50 

The Red Mile 34 

Remains to be Seen 115 

Remember Eden 32 

....Remote.. ..Remote.... 4 

Report 106 

Results from Tbst Case 79014F 89 

Revision 71 

Rhythm 92 

Rhythm 93 13 

Rip 7 

Rocketlipsbabblon 67 

The Rope Factory 88 

Ronnie 61 

Roslyn Romance (Is It Really Thie?) 48 

Running Fence 79 

— S— 

Same Difference 77 

Samsara 91 

Satya: A Prayer For The Enemy 91 

Schwechater 2 

SeView Movie 111 

Seasonal Forces - A Sonoma County Almanac 79, 

109-110 
Second Persons 40 
The Secret of Life 61 
Semiotic Ghosts 5 
Seven Day 33 
The Sewing Circle 27 
Side/Walk/Shuttle 77 
Signal — Germany on the Air 41 
Six Windows 33 
Slate Cleaner 111 
Sleazy Rider 100 
Sleepwalk 92 
Song Xn 29 

Song XV : Fifteen Song "D-aits 30 
Song XVI 30 

Songs xvn & xvn 30 

Songs XDC & XX 30 

Songs XXI & XXn 30 

SongXXm 

23rd Psalm Branch (1966-67) 34 



Film Title Index 



Sonhos Brasileiros ('Brazilian Dreams') 29 

Sonic Outlaws 52 

Sonne halt! (Sun stop!) 3 

Span 78 

Spring 77 

SSS 10 

Start Tklking 101 

Stellar 56 

Stellium in Capricorn 67 

Still Life 34, 47 

The Story Lived by Artaud-M6mo 62 

Straight for the money: 

Interviews with Queer Sex Workers 68 
Stripped Bare 29 
Subcutan 3 
Subway 89 
Sunset Boulevard 5 
Super-8 Girl Games 7 
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story 96 
Survival Run 79 

— T— 

T.E.M.P.S. 71 

Tkke the 5:10 to Dreamland 107 

A Tkle of Love 94-96 

A "Kiste of Flesh 19 

Tblevision Assassination 107 

Tfell Me What You Saw (Krishna) 114 

Tfell Me What You Saw (Luostarinen) 114 

'Ibmet6s (Rmeral) 22 

Tferminal USA 100 

Tbxt I 16 

Thine Inward-looking Eyes 90 

This Is Not Beirut 

There was and there was not 25 

...Three, Fbur, Shut the Door 28 

Three Homerics 56 

Throne, Begonia Room, Walk, Ti-ainRide 115 

Time and Places 34 

Time Bomb 73 

Tb Mom and Dad 111 

lb Parsifal 45 

'Ii-ama97 

'Ih5e6 

Thith Serum 75 

Tlmg 47 

TV Boris and Video Misha 22 

TVI40 

— U— 

Un Film Tbrrible 23 
Un Navet (A Hop) 98-99 
Unnecessary Conversation 115 
Unsere Afrikareise (Our THp to Africa) 2 
Unsichtbare Gegner (Invisible Adversaries) 8 
Untitled work in progress 89 
Untitled: Part One 41 

Uta Makura (Pillow Poems): Of Gardens. Outings. 
Tbkyotokids. On the Go 97 



— V— 

Vagues ^ CoUioure (Waves at Collioure) 97 

Valentin de las Sierras 46 

Valse Thste 107 

\fery Important: A Bird Walked On It 111 

Vmyl 108 

Visions of a City 83 

— W— 

walk in 16 

^^Iking the Tbndra 6 
^^^derlust 71 
W^ter Motor 13 
Wet Gate 101 
What Gets You Off? 68 
When The Bough Breaks 28 
When Jenny When 64 
The White Rose 106 
Windowmobile 33 
Wb-da-vor-bei 16 

Women's Rites or Thith is the Daughter 
of Time 82 

— Y— 

Your Mom 24 

— Z— 

Zum Geburtstag (For Your Birthday) 16 

— #— 

1. Mai 1958 16 

2.95 Untitled ( 1) 

2/60: 48 Kopfe aus dem Szondi-lbst 

(2/60 48 Heads from the Szondi Tfcst) 1 
3.95: untitled 89 
5/62 Fenstergucker, Abfall, etc. 

(5/62: People Looking Out the Window, Ti-ash, 

etc.) 3 
6.95: striptease 88 
10/65: Selbstverstiimmelung 

(10/65: Selfmutilation) 3 
16/67: 20. September (16/67: September 20) 4 
24 Hours a Day 26 
31/75: Asyl (31/75 Asylum) 5 
92 Avignon 16 
442111 
1989— The Real Power of TV 22 



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